Accidents and Injuries

Reporting an Incident

Report any work-related injury or illness to your supervisor as soon as possible. Then report it to the Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) via the UW Online Accident Reporting System (OARS). Submit the OARS report within 24 hours.

  • Also submit an OARS report for near misses, hazardous conditions, and accidents or injuries involving students, UW volunteers working on or off campus, or members of the public visiting campus.
  • Anyone with a UW NetID can access OARS.
  • The affected UW employee, his or her supervisor, or a University representative can submit the report.

Also call EH&S immediately at 206.543.7262 if the incident involves any of the following:

  • In-patient hospitalization
  • Recombinant/synthetic DNA exposure or spill
  • Fatality

Outside of EH&S business hours (8:00-5:00 PM, Monday-Friday), call the UW Police Department (UWPD) at 206.685.UWPD (8973). UWPD will notify an EH&S on-call staff member.

Link to access OARS

It is important for work-related incidents to be reported so that they can be tracked and investigated. Once investigated, preventative measures can be implemented. The information contained in the reports is essential to maintain successful safety programs. The facts are necessary to develop procedures that can control both the conditions and acts that contribute to accidents. Reporting is also required to help the University meet its compliance responsibilities set by federal, state, and funding agencies.

EH&S must immediately report any employee in-patient hospitalization or fatality to Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Do not move any equipment involved until EH&S receives clearance from L&I.

Incident Reporting and Workers' Compensation

Report work related injuries and illnesses through the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS). Completing an OARS report will not initiate a worker's compensation claim. This OARS reporting requirement is independent and separate from filing a workers' compensation claim for a work-related injury.

If you are a UW employee injured at work or believe you have a work related illness, you can file a worker's compensation claim with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The claim form is available at a physician's office, clinic, emergency room, or hospital. You can also file a claim online or by phone directly to L&I. More information, instructions, and assistance is available at the Office of Risk Management website.

What Happens to a Report Once It's Submitted

Incident reports entered into the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) are initially screened in the Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S). EH&S staff triage the reports and forward to others as needed based on the type and severity of the incident.

An EH&S employee may contact you to obtain more information or assist with the investigation. Most accidents and injuries are successfully investigated and closed by the supervisor indicated on the report. Supervisors have a critical role in determining a probable cause and taking corrective action to prevent a recurrence.

The OARS reports are also sent to their assigned Organizational Health and Safety Committee each month. The committee members review reports and assist with additional follow-up if needed. Personally identifiable information is redacted from each OARS report before it's sent to the committee.

Both the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) and the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) require employers to record work related injuries and illnesses. In order to comply with these regulations, the HIPAA statute expressly permits the disclosure of protected health information to the extent required by law (45 CFR 164.512). The University of Washington will limit the amount of information disclosed to the minimum necessary to comply with the recordkeeping regulations.

Work-Related Injury and Illness Summaries (OSHA 300A)

Each Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) report is reviewed by EH&S to determine whether or not the accident or injury needs to be recorded on the OSHA Form 300, the UW's Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. A summary of this log, sorted by location, is named the OSHA 300A Summary and is available below for all employees to review. The OSHA 300A for the previous year is required to be posted from February 1st to April 30th in common work areas and safety bulletin boards on campus.

A work-related injury or illness is considered recordable by OSHA if it results in medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, significant injury or illness as diagnosed by a health care provider, restricted work or job transfer, days away from work, or death. The supervisor or affected employee must provide the OSHA Form 300 information for each OARS report to assist EH&S in determining whether or not an accident or injury is recordable. Information in the OSHA Form 300 Log may be requested by L&I and the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The annual rates of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses for the University as a whole can be viewed here: Incident Rates of Workplace Injuries/Illnesses

2016 OSHA 300A Summaries for various UW locations are listed below.

OSHA 300A Forms for Previous Years

Additional Reporting Requirements

Information in this section is provided to assist you with incidents that have additional reporting requirements.

Workplace Violence - Report workplace violence concerns or events to SafeCampus or call 206.685.SAFE.

Motor Vehicle Accidents - Visit the UW Fleet Services or the Tacoma Motor Pool website for specific procedures following a collision or vehicular accident involving a UW vehicle.


OARS Assistance - For assistance and practice in completing an OARS report, refer to the following training resources:

Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) Exposure - If an accident or injury involves potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens, refer to the resources below:

Regulations - Below are the pertinent regulations regarding accident reporting and recordkeeping:

A Note About Accessibility

To use OARS, you should have a current security certificate loaded onto your computer for the University. If, when attempting to access OARS, you get an error message indicating that the security certificate is invalid or unknown, then go to for instructions on how to update your computer's security certificate.

EH&S strives to make this web site universally accessible. Suggestions for increasing the accessibility of these pages are welcome.

Send comments or suggestions about this site to or call 206.543.7262