The Importance of Reporting Near Misses
Near misses in the workplace are cases where an injury, accident, illness or other damage had the potential to occur, but didn’t.
Examples of these occurrences include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Employees forgetting to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Employees ignoring procedures or work practices
- A slip or fall that doesn’t result in an injury
- Tools or other items dropping from height without striking a worker
- Nearly striking pipes or power lines during drilling procedures
When near misses like the ones listed above occur, reporting them to your employer can go a long way in preventing future incidents. Despite this fact, near misses are often dismissed as lucky breaks and go unaddressed.
As an employee, it’s your job to help bring serious incidents—near misses or otherwise—to the attention of your employer in order to ensure the health and safety of yourself and your peers. Doing so provides three major benefits:
- It helps capture real safety data that your employer can use to track trends and common incidents.
- It helps prevent future injuries or deaths from occurring.
- It promotes a culture of safety in the workplace, helping to improve hazardous conditions instantaneously.
When near misses occur, be sure to follow your employer’s policy about reporting them. If no such policy is in place, encourage your employer to establish one. When near misses occur, reporting them to your employer can go a long way in preventing future incidents.
A near miss reporting program should involve all workers, be easy to understand and should not involve reprimanding workers as the result of an accident.
Keeping all of these tips in mind can allow you as an employee to help shape the overall safety of your workplace for the better.