Types of Incident

Categorizing Incidents

Incidents can be categorized into different types based on their severity, outcome, and cause. Some common categories of incidents include:

  • Near misses: A near miss is an incident in which there was a potential for injury or property damage, but no actual harm occurred. Near misses are important to identify and investigate because they can help prevent future accidents.
  • Accidents: An accident is an incident that results in injury, property damage, or environmental damage. Accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including human error, mechanical failure, and environmental factors.
  • Environmental incidents: An environmental incident is an incident that releases hazardous materials into the environment. Environmental incidents can have a serious impact on human health and the environment.
  • Security incidents: A security incident is an incident that compromises the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information or systems. Security incidents can be caused by a variety of threats, including cyberattacks, physical attacks, and human error.

Examples of Different Incident Types

Here are some examples of different incident types for each category:

Near misses

  • A worker falls from a ladder but is not injured.
  • A chemical spill is contained before it causes any harm.
  • A fire alarm is activated but there is no actual fire.


  • A worker is injured in a slip-and-fall accident.
  • A car accident causes property damage but no injuries.
  • A chemical spill injures several workers.

Environmental incidents

  • An oil spill pollutes a river.
  • A fire releases hazardous smoke into the air.
  • A chemical leak contaminates groundwater.

Security incidents

  • A cyberattack breaches a company’s computer network and steals customer data.
  • A physical attack on a data center disrupts operations.
  • A human error results in the disclosure of confidential information.

By categorizing and investigating incidents, organizations can identify trends and patterns that can help them prevent future incidents.