Incident Report vs. Work Order

Incident Report vs. Work Order

Keeping your service running smoothly requires addressing both unexpected disruptions and routine maintenance. This table clarifies the differences between Incident Reports and Work Order Management. Incident Reports document unforeseen events like a broken light or a safety hazard. Work Order Management handles planned and unplanned service requests, like cleaning or repairs. Understanding these distinctions helps you efficiently respond to issues and keep your facility functioning at its best.

Incident Report
Work Order Management

Document unexpected events that disrupt normal operations or pose a safety hazard.

Manage planned and unplanned maintenance and service requests.


Identifying and recording the details of the incident.

Resolving the issue and restoring normal operations.


Can be urgent depending on the severity of the incident.

Varies depending on the priority of the work order.

  • Description of the incident
  • Date and time
  • Location
  • Photos (optional)
  • Potential cause (if known)
  • Any safety hazards
  • Actions taken (initial response)
  • Description of the work required
  • Materials and equipment needed
  • Estimated time for completion
  • Assigned staff(s)
  • Priority level
  • Work order status tracking
  • Comment for corrective action to prevent future incidents.
  • May lead to a work order for resolving issue.
  • Resolution of the service request or maintenance task.
  • Documented completion and any notes.

A pipe bursts in the restroom, causing flooding.

  • Regular cleaning of the office space.
  • Repairing a broken light fixture.
  • Deep cleaning carpet floor.

In Summary:

  1. Incident reports are reactive, documenting what already happened.
  2. Work order management is proactive, planning and scheduling tasks.
  3. Incident reports can be converted into work orders if repairs or further action is needed.
  4. Work order management systems can track progress, resources, and completion times for service requests.

By understanding the differences between incident reports and work order management, you can ensure a more efficient and effective response to issues in your facilities.