Our mantra in regard to Safety has always been that “keeping your guest’s safe equals keeping your business safe.” One way that our team at Stark Service Solutions helps our customers is through incident investigations and report writing training and consulting.
By performing a preliminary investigation and generating a detailed Incident Report, we assist our guests, team members and company. The information provided will assist any outside agency in understanding the incident as it took place. It will be like gathering the pieces of a puzzle and putting them together to create a picture that could be read and understood by any person who reads it, including, possibly, a jury.
You ask, when do you perform an Investigation? The answer is simple – for every Incident Report you generate. Writing only what the guest or employee told you is a one-sided story that may very well raise your liability with your insurance carrier. Most people will tell you only what makes them look good and makes you look bad. Limit your liability issues by conducting a thorough investigation, separate from what the guest or employee stated happened.
An area where investigation always helps, is in cases of contributory negligence. This applies to cases where claimants have, through their own negligence, contributed to the harm they suffered. An example of contributory negligence is where a person voluntarily disregards warnings and assumes a certain level of risk. Such as: “Warning, no lifeguard on duty, swim at your own risk.” Another example is: “Do not consume alcoholic beverages while utilizing the hot tub.”
In all cases, always take pictures. It’s a cliché, but it is very true, that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Keys to a well-done Incident Report are accuracy, completeness and organization. The Incident Report should be concise, yet easily understandable. It should be neat, and timely. In the final report, there should be no opinions expressed by the writer/investigator, and no feelings involved. It is an OBJECTIVE report.
As a true effort of reporting, your Incident Report should include the “must-haves” – Who, What, When, Why and How. It should be written to exclude absolutes – use words such as “approximately” or “apparently” or “allegedly.”
Whenever possible, get a written statement from the guest or involved party, because sometimes what the involved party writes down may be different than what they told you.
And leave it to your insurance company to deny compensation — that’s why you have insurance.
Safety and security issues are a high concern in our industry every day. Significant benefits are available to you by having Stark Service Solutions as your “on demand” Safety & Loss Prevention Specialist, with a proven track record of successfully managing and protecting multi-million dollar assets, while effectively reducing costs and expenses. For more information, visit http://starkservicesolutions.com/safety-loss-prevention/ or contact us for a complimentary needs assessment.