Employee participation in any near-miss program is vital, however, it can be challenging to get workers to conform to change especially when it can be time-consuming or seem unnecessary. All workers regardless of their role have a long list of tasks to complete on a daily/weekly basis, how can you make near-miss reporting quick and easy to lodge to ensure workers can continue with their day?
The solution – Technology to be introduced to document all the relevant information and to educate workers on why this is important. It needs to be quick and easy with the ability to add images, videos, location, manager, etc from any device. This will also help with reporting at a Manager, location, or board level.
A near-miss is defined as an “unplanned event that did not result in an injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so”.
Both terms are used when reporting incidents, events, and/or failure within the workplace.
Not all organizations understand the purpose of near-miss reporting, or it may not be a fixed process to follow when an incident arises. The benefits near-miss reporting can bring to an organization allow the cultural clues and assess their processes and procedures to determine how to prevent the ‘near-misses’ from happening in the future or turning seriously with an incident or fatality.
As organizations move through their safety culture maturity the issue of near-miss reporting raises its head. A mature organization has a culture that tracks near-misses, examines how and why the near-miss happened, then puts in controls to minimize or eliminate the risk. However not all organizations understand the purpose of near-miss reporting, or even if they say they do, they may fail to communicate benefits that reporting near-misses can bring to the safety of the organization.
Near-miss reporting is often described as a gift – because it hasn’t caused harm but instead is a wake-up call that something could have gone wrong if adequate controls weren’t put in place.
The purpose of near reporting is to allow an organization to take cultural clues and assess their processes and procedures to determine how to prevent the “near-miss” occurring again with potential harm associated with it.
Some organizations celebrate low reported numbers of near-misses. However, many do this without closely determining what the low numbers mean? Did the near-miss not happen, or is it more likely that staff are just not reporting them? These are the two scenarios but the outcome for an organization can be completely different.
Safety professionals agree that implementing a near-miss or close call reporting system works to rectify potential hazards and injuries.
Near-miss reporting adds value in an organization when it is treated in a proactive way – used to improve the workplace and move towards rectifying risks. At the same time support needs to be given to those who report the near-miss, and the learning that comes out of the near-miss or close call needs to filter through the whole organization.
There are five common reasons why employees/contractors don’t report near-misses or close calls.