Chapter 4: Accident Reporting


An Accident Reporting and Investigation Plan prescribes methods and practices for reporting and investigating accidents that can be read and understood by all managers, supervisors, and employees. No matter how conscientious the safety efforts are, accidents are going to happen, sometimes due to human or system error.

This written Accident Reporting and Investigation Plan is intended to demonstrate The University of Mary Washington’s compliance with the requirements in OSHA 29 CFR 1904 by:

  • Prescribing methods and practices for reporting and investigating accidents
  • Providing a means to deal with workplace accidents in a standardized way.

In addition, it is the policy of the University to comply with all Workers’ Compensation laws and regulations.

The requirements of this plan apply to all operations and departments at the University.


The University of Mary Washington’s Worker’s Compensation Coordinator is responsible for developing, maintaining, and reporting First Records of Injury to Virginia State Department of Risk Management. This function is shared by the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Public Safety.

The departments responsible for the program:

  • Are responsible for the OSHA 300A Log as well as compensatory reports for the employee.
  • Have full authority to make necessary decisions to ensure the success of this plan.
  • Are qualified by appropriate training and experience to commensurate with the complexity of the plan.
  • Administer or oversee the accident reporting and investigation program.
  • Conduct the required investigations and incident evaluations.

All employee accidents are reviewed by a committee of UMW representatives from all trades, skills and professions for adequate recommendations and remediations.


Employees injured on the job are to report the injury to their supervisor as soon as possible after the incident/accident, and when it is safe to do so. Near miss accidents or incidents (when an employee nearly has an accident but is able to avoid it) should be reported as well. All accidents and incidents should be reported for prevention purposes.

The supervisor must immediately notify the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Public Safety when an incident/accident occurs.

If they are not available, a report should be forwarded for their review and the supervisor shall conduct an investigation and interview. The Employer’s Accident Report, VWC Form No.3 is required to be completed by the employee’s supervisor. Injuries involving a student, UMW visitor or contractor needs to be reported to University Police for an Incident Report to be filed and forwarded to the UMW Risk Management Office. All accident reports and police reports involving accidents with or without injuries are reviewed by OEMS.

Any employee witnessing an accident is to call for emergency assistance when needed. In addition, the employee is to immediately report the accident to his or her supervisor and take part in answering questions related to the Accident Report and Accident Investigation.


Thorough investigation of all accidents will lead to identification of accident causes and help:

  • Reduce economic losses from injuries and lost productive time.
  • Determine why accidents occur, where they happen, and any trends that might be developing.
  • Employees develop an awareness of workplace problems and hazards.
  • Identify areas for process improvement to increase safety and productivity.
  • Note areas where training information or methods need to be improved.
  • Suggest a focus for safety program development.

For all accident investigations, OEMS or its designee will perform the following duties:

  • Conduct the accident investigation at the scene of the injury as soon as safely possible to do so.
  • Ask the employee involved in the accident and any witnesses, in separate interviews, to tell in their own words exactly what happened.
  • Repeat the employee’s version of the event back to him/her and allow the employee to make any corrections or additions.
  • After the employee has given his/her description of the event, ask appropriate questions that focus on causes.
  • When finished, remind the employee the investigation was to determine the cause and possible corrective action that can eliminate the cause(s) of the accident.
  • Complete an accident investigation report with the employee and review data with employee for accuracy. This will provide information to put into database format.

The accident investigation report is used to:

  • Track and report injuries on a monthly basis.
  • Group injuries by type, cause, body part affected, time of day, and process involved.
  • Determine if any trends in injury occurrence exist and graph those trends if possible.
  • Identify any equipment, materials, or environmental factors that seem to be commonly involved in injury incidents.
  • Discuss the possible solutions to the problems identified with the safety team and superiors.
  • Proceed with improvements to reduce the likelihood of future injuries.


If a workplace accident results in injury or illness requiring hospitalization of three or more employees, or a fatality of one or more employee, the University’s Worker’s Compensation Coordinator will report the incident within eight hours by phone or in person to the nearest VOSH office.

If an injured person is taken to a doctor, a statement from the doctor will be attached to the Accident Report form.


UMW’s Worker’s Compensation Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the following records and documentation:

  • OSHA 300A log of injuries and illnesses
  • Accident investigation reports
  • Employer’s Accident Report

UMW OEMS is responsible for maintaining the following records and documentation:

  • Training records
  • Investigation and Interviews


This plan is a document guiding the action and behaviors of employees, so they need to know about it. To communicate the new Accident Reporting and Investigation Plan, all employees are given a thorough explanation as to why the new plan was prepared and how individuals may be affected by it.

The information and requirements of this written plan are presented to employees during new hire orientation or as the plan is reviewed and modified, but at least annually.


The accident reporting and investigation program is evaluated and updated by UMW Worker’s Compensation Coordinators and OEMS annually to determine whether the plan is being followed and if further training may be necessary.