Incident Report

Taylor MacLeod-Roemer

Writer’s comment: This writing assignment provided me with the unique and challenging task of creating a realistic Incident Report. An Incident Report requires a precise technical writing style and incorporates exact and specific statistical information within the report. An Incident Report is one of the most practical and applicable assignments offered for business or professional oriented majors; that’s why I found this assignment to be one of my favorites. Due to this assignment in English 104A (Business & Technical Writing) and the guidance of Professor Squitieri throughout the year, I will be able to take the writing skills I have learned into my business career.
- Taylor MacLeod-Roemer

Instructor’s comment: While grandiose formal reports often take pride of place in technical writing classrooms, working professionals realize that humble little memos and incident reports perform the crucial everyday work of business and industry. Taylor MacLeod-Roemer’s incident report, written for English 104A: Business & Technical Writing, demonstrates his keen sense of audience, purpose, and professional context. Meticulously detailed and clearly formatted, the report precisely analyzes the causes and consequences of a workplace accident, provides valuable documentation of the personnel involved, discreetly limits the extent of company liability, and proposes thoughtful recommendations for preventing future accidents. Quite a tall order for a short report.
- Victor Squitieri, English Department

SCV Inc.


31 January, 1999

To: Jamal Robinson, Head of the Department of Inventory
From: Jeff Johnson, Warehouse Manager, Department of Inventory
Subject: Forklift Accident on January 25, 1999 and Recommended Safety Solutions
Distribution: Michelle P. Johnson, President of SCV Inc.
  James Furniss, Head of the Department of Safety and Security
  Jim Domby, Head of the Department of Finance

On January 25, 1999, at approximately 1:00pm, Department of Inventory forklift operator Mike Murphy crashed forklift 523-89A into Sector 44 in Warehouse II. The accident inflicted injury upon Mr. Murphy and employee, Susan Alexander, an inventory counter for the Department of Inventory. The crash also destroyed inventory crates #110-115 and half of crate #122. During the accident, Mr. Murphy was thrown from the forklift and broke his arm. Mrs. Alexander was hit in the head by some of the falling inventory and knocked unconscious.

At precisely 12:50pm, Mr. Murphy returned from his lunch break and climbed into his forklift. Failing to follow standard safety procedure, Mr. Murphy neglected to put on his seat belt and proceeded to drive towards loading dock #5. After loading inventory crates #121 and #122 onto his forklift, he continued towards Sector 45 of the warehouse, where the inventory was to be dropped off and stored. Realizing that he was a little behind schedule, Mr. Murphy drove too fast down the narrow pathways of the warehouse.

As Mr. Murphy made a right turn, just before Sector 45, he abruptly came upon employee Susan Alexander who was walking in the middle of the path. Mrs. Alexander did not pay attention to the designated walking area that is on the side of the pathway and clearly marked on the floor. To avoid running directly into Mrs. Alexander, Mr. Murphy quickly swerved to the left. This sudden sharp turn caused Mr. Murphy to go flying out of the right side of the forklift and sent some of the stock in inventory crate #122 flying off the forklift towards Mrs. Alexander. Having no time to react, Mrs. Alexander was hit in the back of the head by some of the stock. The forklift, now unattended, crashed into a stack of inventory crates in Sector 44, destroying crates #110-115.

Being only three sectors away from the accident, Warehouse Floor Supervisor John Rosendale of the Department of Inventory, heard the crash. He immediately ran to the scene of the accident. Arriving on site at approximately 1:00pm, Mr. Rosendale found the forklift crashed into Sector 44, stock from inventory crates all over the floor, Mrs. Alexander face down on the floor, and Mr. Murphy clutching his right arm in pain while rolling on the ground. Without hesitation Mr. Rosendale ran all the way back to the loading dock, where the nearest emergency telephone was located. The telephone automatically connected Mr. Rosendale to the Safety and Security Department, and within five minutes of the call, a company police officer Darren McCaffrey (Badge #620) reached the accident site. Mr. McCaffrey secured the area by roping it off and gave assistance to Mr. Murphy and Mrs. Alexander until an ambulance arrived at 1:18pm. The paramedics, Amber Pasricha and John Rendig, took both employees directly to the UCD Medical Center, where they received immediate attention.

As soon as the ambulance left for the hospital, Mr. Rosendale filled out an estimated damage report for the accident. Although the forklift suffered two large dents in its right side, it sustained no serious damage; the forklift 523-89A will remain in use. Inventory crates #110-115 of Sector 44 were destroyed when the forklift ran into them, and half of inventory crate #122 was destroyed when it went flying off the prongs of forklift. Each crate is estimated at $1,000 dollars, so the total damage done to the inventory is $6,500 ($1,000 * 6.5 crates). Although both employees will recover, Mr. Murphy broke his arm in two places, and Mrs. Alexander received ten stitches in the back of her head and had to stay overnight in the hospital. The combined hospital bill for our company’s employees is $2,015. Thus, the total expenses that incurred due to the forklift accident are $8,515 ($6,500 inventory + $2,015 hospital).

Although most employees of SCV Inc. abide by the safety regulations, we cannot afford to have a single employee disregard any safety rules, for violators put not only their own lives at risk but the lives of others as well. The forklift accident in Warehouse II is extremely serious; we cannot afford, either financially or ethically, a second such accident. Please give the following suggestions serious consideration:

[1] The Department of Inventory should enforce a mandatory safety meeting before on- the-job training begins and a once-a-month safety workshop for all employees.

[2] The Department of Inventory should make employees strap down inventory crates to the forklift before moving inventory from one destination to another.

[3] The Department of Safety and Security should install emergency telephones at strategic locations throughout all warehouses.

[4] The Department of Safety and Security should install steel barriers approximately three feet high around all sectors in the warehouses.

[5] The Department of Safety and Security should establish and enforce a maximum speed limit for forklift drivers.

I look forward to meeting with you next week to discuss the recommended safety procedures.

TMR/ jr

SCV Inc.
Organizational Chart

Audience Analysis
Primary Audience
Michelle P. Johnson, President
Use of Report: To decide whether or not to implement safety suggestions
Information Needed: 1. Benefits of suggestions for SCV Inc.
  2. Problems with existing safety procedure
  3. Any drawbacks of implementing ideas
Secondary Audience
James Furniss, Dept of Safety and Security
Use of Report: To decide if safety suggestions are reasonable and not too excessive
Information Needed: 1. What’s wrong with safety procedure now
  2. What will this require out of my department
Jim Dombay, Dept of Finance
Use of Report: To decide if these suggestions are economically reasonable and a good use of the company’s money
Information Needed: 1. The cost of the ideas
  2. Will the benefit of these ideas outweigh the costs
  3. Expenses due to the accident
Immediate Audience
Jamal Robinson, Dept of Inventory
Use of Report: To decide whether or not to pass this memo on, is this memo important enough and if so, who do I give to next
Information Needed: 1. Problems with safety in the warehouse today
  2. Loss of inventory due to the accident