Health and Safety Incident Management 101: Building a Resilient Response System 

A health and safety incident is any event that has the potential to cause harm to people or property.

Incidents can range from minor accidents to major disasters. It is important for organisations to have a robust plan in place for responding to incidents in a timely and effective manner. 

A resilient response system is one that can withstand and recover from incidents quickly and efficiently. It is important to note that resilience is not about preventing incidents altogether, but rather about being prepared to respond to them effectively when they do occur. 

Steps that organisations can take to build a resilient response system

  • Identify hazards and risks. The first step is to identify the hazards and risks that are present in the workplace. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as hazard surveys, risk assessments, and job safety analyses. 
  • Develop incident response plans. Once the hazards and risks have been identified, incident response plans should be developed. These plans should outline the steps that will be taken to respond to different types of incidents. 
  • Train staff. All staff should be trained on the incident response plans. This training should include information on the different types of incidents that can occur, the steps to take to respond to them, and the roles and responsibilities of different staff members. 
  • Test and review plans and procedures. Incident response plans and procedures should be tested and reviewed regularly to ensure that they are effective and current. 


Responding to incidents 

When an incident occurs, it is vital to follow the incident response plan. This will help to ensure that the incident is responded to in a timely and effective manner. 

The first step in responding to an incident is to assess the situation. This includes determining the nature of the incident, the severity of the incident, and the potential risks to people and property. 

Once the situation has been assessed, the appropriate steps should be taken to mitigate the risks. This may involve evacuating people from the area, isolating the hazard, or providing medical assistance to injured people. 

It is also important to communicate with stakeholders throughout the incident response process. This includes keeping staff, customers, and the public informed of the situation and the steps that are being taken to address it. 

Following the incident 

Once the incident has been resolved, it is important to conduct an after-action review. This review should identify any areas where the incident response plan could be improved. The review should also be used to identify any lessons learned that can be applied to future incident responses. 

Benefits of a resilient response system 

  • Reduced risk of harm to people and property 
  • Improved ability to recover from incidents quickly and efficiently 
  • Reduced costs associated with incidents 
  • Improved reputation of the organisation 


Additional tips for building a resilient response system 

  • Involve all stakeholders. The incident response plan should be developed in consultation with all stakeholders, including staff, customers, and regulators. This will help to ensure that the plan is comprehensive and effective. 
  • Utilise technology. Technology can be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of incident response. For example, incident management software can be used to track and manage incidents, communicate with stakeholders, and generate reports. 
  • Practice regularly. The incident response plan should be tested and reviewed regularly to ensure that it is effective and up to date. This will also help to ensure that staff are familiar with the plan and know what to do in the event of an incident. 


By following the tips above, organisations can build a resilient response system that will help them to withstand and recover from incidents quickly and efficiently. A resilient response system is essential for protecting people and property, and for maintaining the reputation of the organisation. 

Features of the iProtectU health and safety software 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics, which cover incident management at work 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering incident management 
  • Management system to document control the policy on incident management 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on incident management 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding potential hazards to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 




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