Hi Emotion: smile,

Firstly i would like to say thank to volunteer teachers who spend their time to come here to help us to improve our English. Emotion: smile.

I have just found this site and I love it.

Here is my question.
Can somebody tell me what is the difference between INCIDENT and ACCIDENT.

Thank in advance.
Incident refers to something that takes place or comes to pass. According to a usage note in the American Heritage Dictionary, an incident may apply to a minor occurrence: Errors are inescapable incidents in the course of scientific research. The term may also refer to a distinct event of sharp identity and significance: His debut at Carnegie Hall was the first of a succession of exciting incidents in his life.

Accident refers to either an unexpected, undesirable event: car accidents on icy roads or an unforeseen incident: went to college in England by happy accident. Other meanings of accident are

lack of intention; chance”: ran into an old friend by accident, (or in logic) a circumstance or an attribute that is not essential to the nature of something.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

By the way, the correct spelling is unintentionally and not unintentially.
Accident: An undesired event that results in harm to people damage to property or loss of property.

Incident: An undesired event which under slightly different circumstances, could have resulted in harm to people. damage to property, or loss of process.


Accident: An electrician was working on a high voltage machine while it was "hot" to save time. The screwdriver slipped and shorted between two contact points. The resulting explosion severely burned the electrician, damaged the control box and shut down part of the manufacturing process.

Incident: A night shift maintenance worker found an electric lift truck parked in an aisle instead of at the charging bay. He drove the lift truck to the bay, but on slowing down to enter he found the brakes to be quite sluggish. He quickly reversed the controls and simple bumped the battery charging set, causing no apparent damage. Under slightly different circumstances, this incident could have resulted in extensive damage to the lift truck and charging set as well as injury to the driver.

"Near-Miss": Incident which by change did not result in injury or loss/damage.If conditions are not changed, next time the outcome may be more serious.
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INCIDENT is relatively insignificant event that MIGHT have serious consequences. In incident there is no serious injury nor death but might be some damage involved.

ACCIDENT is misfortune or mishap causing injury or death and damage as well.

HAZARD/RISK is exposure or possibility of incurring to danger or loss, exposure or volnerability to injury, death, loss, evil, etc.

NEAR MISS is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage - but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage.

P.S. If you think about it ... miss = fail = miscarry = no accident no incident but there was only hazard/risk ... so near miss should be nothing short to ... an accident in its worse ... multi casualty event ... (!)
 Anonymous's reply was promoted to an answer.
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An accident is an incident that happened through chance and without intention...while an incident doesn't have to happen by accident.
What I believe is that:

All Accident are incidents, but all incidents are not accidents.