They happen every day. They happen 300 times more frequently than incidents and they contain important information to prevent incidents. Yes, I am talking about near-misses. OSHA describes a near-miss as “an incident where no property was damaged and no personal injury sustained, but where given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury could have occurred.” Basically, near-misses are any occurrence where the events did not result in injury but could have. This is why near-misses are often referred to as close-calls.
Reporting and investigating incidents, injuries and any kind of damage is not only a vital step to managing safety, but for most organizations today it is required. Despite this, many organizations have yet to expand their reporting processes to include near-misses. This is a serious mistake. After all, near-misses are the precursor to the main event. By failing to report, analyze and understand why a near-miss happened, employers are missing out on a key opportunity to learn from the mishap.
The Safety Pyramid
In 1931, Mr. H.W. Heinrich developed the safety pyramid which shows that for every major injury, 29 minor injuries happened first and 300 near-misses occurred before that. This means that 300 near-misses actually occurred before that single major injury! That’s essentially 300 warning flags. Near-misses don’t have to result in incidents and can actually be leveraged in order to prevent incidents. All that is required of you is to record and report (think R ²).
Establishing a reporting culture can transform your safety program from a reactive process to a proactive process. Organizations can do this by implementing a near-miss management system to manage safety incidents, accidents and injuries. Safety incident reporting software provides forms to streamline workflow, eliminate unnecessary time spent logging near-misses, and assess the severity of the occurrences.
Start reporting your near-misses today and implement a near-miss reporting system!
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