“That was a close one!” – Turning a close call at the workplace into a valuable learning opportunity.
“A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so.”
All too often, companies wait for a loss to occur before taking steps to prevent reoccurrence. This is known as a REACTIVE safety culture. To achieve a PROACTIVE safety culture, organizations need to understand the value in near miss reporting and investigate near misses in the same way they would a workplace incident resulting in harm or loss.
Near misses are gifts. They provide an opportunity for organizations to determine hazards that may have been overlooked and allow time to mitigate risks by implementing strong corrective actions to prevent future incidents from occurring.
Near Miss Reporting Best Practices
- Employers need to establish a process for near miss reporting including a culture that reinforces every opportunity to identify and control hazards.
- OH&S Committees should review any and all near miss reports.
- Employee education through regular communication & training on near miss reporting.
- The reporting system needs to be convenient & non-punitive.
- Investigate near miss reports to determine root cause and implement corrective actions.
- Capture near miss reports as a leading indicator measure of performance.
- Share the hazards and controls obtained from near miss reports with all employees.
Too many near misses go unreported in the workplace.
The next time you find yourself in a situation that causes you to say, “That was a close one!” please take the time to report it. You are not only providing valuable information to your workplace, but you may even save a life.
Work safe. Home safe. Every day.
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