Importance of Near Miss Reporting

Oftentimes slips, trips, or “close calls” in the workplace are shrugged off with a casual “that was close”. But it is important when building and sustaining a workplace culture of safety that you treat a near workers compensation claim with the same attention and detail as a real claim.

Communities who track near misses, determine how and why they occur, and take corrective action can prevent similar – or more serious – incidents from happening in the future.

What is a Near Miss?

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.” They stress 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.

How to

This is as simple as reporting a full workers compensation incident report. If your workplace is on the right track to building a culture of safety you should be completing incident reports. These reports are not meant to be a “who done it”. Rather a fact finding exercise that empowers the employees and management to work together to create the safest work environment possible. 
- Identify accident cause factors and system deficiencies
- Assess manpower and monetary losses due to accidents
- Collect accident data to develop accident prevention measures

When communities react swiftly and positively to accidents, injuries, and even near misses its actions reaffirm its commitment to the safety and well-being of its employees.

When conducted properly Post Accident Investigations:
- Empower employee's
- Preventing recurrence
- Identifying out-dated procedures
- Improvements to work environment
- Increased productivity
- Improvement of operational & safety  procedures
- Raises safety awareness level

Communities that implement near-miss programs credit them with improving safety and moral. When administration and department heads take the time to show employees they are committed to their safety it employees have an added sense of value to the organization.

But success is dependent on the support of all employees at all levels of the community and positively reinforced at all levels, this is when it can be most effective.

Employees want to know their employer is serious about the program, so administration and department management needs to work hard and be persistent in promoting the value of near miss reporting.
A sample report of injury can be found on OSHA website: