Accident and Injury Reporting

Work-related incidents are tracked and investigated so that preventative measures can be implemented. The information contained in the reports is essential to maintain successful safety programs.

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 incidents. Reporting is also required to help the University meet its compliance responsibilities set by federal, state, and funding agencies.

Report any work-related injury or illness to your supervisor as soon as possible. After reporting the incident to your supervisor, submit a report of the incident within 24 hours to EH&S via the UW’s Online Accident Reporting System (OARS).

When submitting a report, keep in mind:

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

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

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 in the incident until EH&S receives clearance from L&I.

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


What happens to an OARS report

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

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 omitted from each OARS report before it is sent to the committee for review.


Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Every report of an accident or injury submitted through the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) is reviewed by EH&S to determine whether or not the incident needs to be recorded on the UW's Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Information on how EH&S determines whether an incident is recordable can be found on the L&I website.

A summary of the UW's Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, sorted by location, is called the OSHA 300A Summary and is available for all employees to review. The OSHA 300A Summary 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.

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


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:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Contact EH&S at 206.543.7388.

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). 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.

More information, instructions, and assistance regarding Workers’ Compensation is available at the Risk Services website.

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.


Environmental Health & Safety Department

(206) 543-7262