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A Guide to Implementing an In-House Incident Reporting System in Outdoor Recreation and Education

Erik Rabinowitz, Christopher J. Bartram


This article will explain prioritized steps on how to create a reporting system for the outdoor recreation organization, including the components to incorporate an effective risk management reporting system. Research reports that the majority (91%) of outdoor programs are using paper forms to report incidents and that 26% of programs do not record near misses at all (Bartram & Rabinowitz, 2018). These steps were designed collaboratively and incorporate perspectives from program management and literature. This outline may assist those seeking to further enhance their incident reporting system and improve organizational incident reporting practices.

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incidents; accidents; reporting; database; risk management

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Bartram, C.J. & Rabinowitz, E. (2019). Benchmarking Standards of Incident Reporting in College and University Outdoor Programs. Journal of Outdoor, Recreation and Leadership, 11 (1). DOI:

Curtis, R. (2015). Risk Assessment & Safety Management (RASM): The Complete Risk Management Model for Outdoor Programs. Retrieved July, 2020 risk-management-model-outdoor-programs.

Hale, A.R. & Hale, M. (1970). Accidents in perspective. Occupational Psychology, 44, 115-121.

Meyer, D. & Williamson, J. (1979). Potential causes of accidents in outdoor pursuits. Retrieved July, 2020



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