Incident Reporting

Updated April 15, 2024

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) tracks and investigates work-related incidents to help prevent injuries, illnesses and to maintain safe and healthy workplaces.
Workplace Injury and incident reporting is required by federal and state regulatory and funding agencies. 

UW Medicine personnel use a separate system to track work-related injuries and illnesses. 

If an incident occurs:

Follow the EH&S exposure response procedures if potentially exposed to hazardous materials.


Complete any immediate first aid/medical care measures. 


Report the incident to your supervisor.


Submit an incident report via the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) to EH&S within 24 hours or immediately if the below applies.

Incidents that require immediate notification

Notify EH&S immediately (after first aid/medical care/emergency services) if the workplace incident involves any of the following. The below types of workplace incidents require EH&S reporting to regulatory and funding agencies.

  • In-patient hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye, or fatality
  • Recombinant/synthetic DNA/RNA exposure or spill
  • Radioactive material spill, exposure, accidental exposure from a radiation producing device or laser
  • Fires

During EH&S business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday) call (206) 543-7262.

Outside of EH&S business hours, call the UW Police Department at (206) 685-8973 to reach EH&S on-call staff.

Reporting instructions

UW personnel are required to submit an incident report for any work-related event regardless of the work location if the event results in an injury, illness, exposure to hazardous materials, or fire. UW personnel are highly encouraged to submit work-related near-miss events.

This requirement includes workplace incidents involving or impacting paid UW personnel (staff, faculty, and students), and includes student workers and work volunteers. The work setting may be a University-owned and operated location, a field site, and an off-campus location where University activities are occurring.

Incident reports can only be submitted by the injured person, their supervisor, or anyone with a UW NetID.

When an incident occurs that is not work-related, please use the Report A Concern form.

Types of work-related events to report

1. Injury events are defined as any harm to a person, including physical injury, that may or may not require first aid (e.g., use of medication, band-aids, ice packs, etc.).

2. Illness events are workplace illnesses that can result from exposures to infectious agents, communicable diseases, and heat.

3. Exposure events are workplace contact with a hazardous material such as a chemical, biological, or radiological agent; contact could be with the eyes, nose (inhalation), mouth (ingestions), or skin (absorption or injection).

4. Fire events include flames and/or smoke, even if the fire goes out by itself.

5. Near-miss events identify a potentially unsafe condition or behavior at work where no injury, illness, or property damage occurred, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, they could have occurred. For example, if a worker tripped while walking, but was not injured, this would be considered a near-miss event. Near-misses are valuable opportunities to correct potential hazards.

How to report safety concerns

Safety concerns are defined as any condition, practice, or violation that has the potential to result in physical harm, property loss, and/or environmental impacts. Safety concerns can be reported to EH&S using the Report A Concern Form, keeping in mind that some concerns are managed by the impacted department or UW Facilities and their reporting processes:


For assistance with completing an incident report, contact EH&S at

If you will be working at a location without internet access, download and save or print the Incident Report Form (PDF) prior to leaving internet service. Complete the PDF after an incident occurs and type the information into the UW’s Online Accident Reporting System when you return to internet service.


OSHA recordable work-related injuries and illnesses

Incidents that are defined as “recordable” by the federal and state Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are those that result in days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, significant injury or illness (as diagnosed by a healthcare provider), or death.

Recordable incidents are tracked in the University's Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in accordance with Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) requirements.

View the Incidence Rate Graph showing the annual incidence rates of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses at the University.

The recordable work-related injuries and illnesses for University of Washington locations are summarized below. The previous year’s OSHA 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses is required by OSHA to be posted every year from February 1 to April 30 in each worksite on safety bulletin boards (and other locations) where all University personnel can review.

Frequently asked questions


Environmental Health & Safety Contact

(206) 543-7262
Reference Files 
Exposure Response Poster
95.49KB (.pdf)
Spill Response Poster
126.63KB (.pdf)
Incident Reporting Poster
558.25KB (.pdf)