Firstly, what is a near miss??

A fact sheet from OSHA and the National Safety Council defines a near miss as an “unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so.” The fact sheet stresses that although near misses cause no immediate harm, they can precede events in which a loss or injury could occur. Employers that encourage the reporting of near misses gain an opportunity to prevent future incidents.

7. May 2019

Why are reporting near misses so important, and how can employees improve?

An employee walks down the hall, stepping over an extension cord stretched across his path. He turns a corner and nearly collides with another worker. To avoid the collision, he steps to the side, spilling coffee onto the floor and inadvertently jostling a shelving unit, on which a tool placed close to the edge of the top shelf falls and hits the ground.

No one is hurt in this fictional scenario. However, the employees in it experience multiple near-miss situations – any one of which could have led to a serious injury.

Identifying and investigating near-misses is a key element to finding and controlling risks before workers are injured. The information gathered through near-miss reporting is evaluated to determine root causes and hazard mitigation strategies. “Lessons learned” are shared in a general way (you are not identified) so all employees can benefit from the findings and your near-miss does not turn into someone else’s injury! Near-miss reporting is vitally important in preventing serious incidents that are less frequent but more harmful than near-misses.

Many safety activities are reactive, that is, they occur after an injury incident. By reporting near-miss incidents you can promote proactive safety.

-Make it really easy for anyone to report a near miss

-Show you’re taking action

-Be open and transparent about the incident

-Promote reporting in the workplace

-Create incentives for employees

-Set goals and targets- Give teams or individuals a target for the number of hazards or near-misses they need to report in a given period.

-Train your team on how to identify hazards and near-misses

Here at EcoOnline, we understand how important reporting near-misses are. We have developed a module within our leading software Safety Manager. Manage incidents with this integrated, configurable incident system. Set actions, investigations, findings, for any type of accident or event management process. Use our ready made templates, or design your own incident and action system and forms using our smartforms feature.