EHS incident letter example and template

As an EHS professional, you’re responsible for documenting safety and security incidents. This post contains an incident letter example that you can follow to quickly communicate workplace incident details.

Free template!

Download this free incident report letter template to quickly put together your letters.

Before you write the letter

Collect all the incident details before you start writing a report letter. In my experience, having everything collected beforehand saves a lot of time.

I like to record these details in a little notebook as I gather them so they’re all ready for when I write the report. This is a good time to make sure you have all the images, videos, etc., that are relevant to your investigation.

Just remember that you don’t need the full investigation details before sending out a report. That’s because you’ll send out a finalized report once you’ve fully investigated everything.

Components of an incident letter

There are two main sections of an incident report letter: incident details and corrective actions. Each of these sections includes important information that recipients can use to better understand what happened, how it happened, and what needs to happen next.

The incident details section should include the following information:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident
  • Full description of what happened

In the corrective actions section, you should list:

Your goal is to explain what happened and what you’re planning to do about it. The action items I list in my incident report letters are never final. I always find more to add later. So, don’t worry if your initial report isn’t fully comprehensive.

Sample incident letter example

Writing these reports is pretty straightforward. Here is an example of what I would typically send to site leaders, managers, and HR if an incident happened.

SUBJECT: Incident Report [Outbound dock door 137 slip injury]

A safety incident occurred on 12/18/2023 at 14:05 EST. Below are the details of the incident and immediate corrective actions for further investigation and review.

Incident Details
Date: 12/18/2023
Time: 14:05 EST

Location: Outbound dock door 137

Description: An employee was loading packages in dock door 137 on the outbound ship dock. They slipped on a wet dock plate and suffered a laceration to their right calf. Upon arrival, the dock manager noticed that there was a large puddle of water on the floor surrounding the dock plate.

Through further investigation, the EHS team noted that there was a substantial leak in the rubber insulation between the trailer wall and the dock door. Because of the rain outside, water leaked into the building and created the puddle that the employee slipped on.

Corrective Actions
Immediately following the incident, we cleaned the laceration and applied an antiseptic solution and a band aid. The employee was sent out to a local clinic for additional treatment, requiring 23 stitches.

Witnesses: There were no other employees working in the area, but we do have video of the incident (attached to this report).

Action items:

  • Conduct a full inspection of all dock door seals and make a list of which ones need replacing
  • Find a vendor that can supply the rubber seals for the dock doors
  • Order new door seals and install temporary signage in the area until the door seals are replaced
  • Add a line item to the daily dock inspection checklist that requires team members to check for spills and puddles on rainy days