Are you mining the diamond?
Near miss reports are a huge safety improvement resource that is often overlooked or wasted. Near-misses occur much more frequently than serious accidents, but tend to be smaller in scale and simpler to analyse and fix. Effective near-miss reporting, therefore provides valuable OSH information that can be used to improve your overall safety, raise OSH performance and reduce costs.
"A near-miss or close-call is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so" (OSHA and National Safety Council). In other words, someone could have got hurt, maimed or killed, but didn’t.
There are 4 key elements of a successful near-miss reporting program:
- Proactivity - Identifying potential incident trajectories provides valuable early warning signals.
In combination, PEER® safety behaviour observations combined with near-miss reports, safety concern reports, and safety suggestions amplifies any faint warning signals so they become powerful alarms.
- Employee Engagement - Near-miss reporting should involve the entire workforce in identifying unsafe operations to create a pool of knowledge to reduce the risks in ongoing operations. Focusing on Psychological Safety by proactively managing any unintended side-effects for those who report (publicity, blame, etc.) helps enormously with employee participation.
Harnessing the PEER® process in its entirety helps to create a genuine safety partnership between managerial and blue-collar employees that result in fewer people being hurt, and creating a positive safety culture.
- Ease of Reporting - Minimizing the work by reducing any administrative burdens leads to more people reporting near-misses. Providing a single contact point to gather all the necessary information in one-sitting means people can report and go back to work with the minimum of fuss.
Our PEER® near-miss reporting process has been specifically designed to make reporting easy with no training required, with an embedded Root Cause Analyses process contained in nested drop-down menu’s to immediately capture in-depth details that often are overlooked, to help minimize any follow-up investigations.
- Risk Reduction - The whole point of a near-miss reporting process is to prevent recurrence so that actual incidents cannot occur.
To do this properly requires potential severity rankings of the near-misses reported; identification of the root-cause(s); analysing the data to provide focused feedback; applying the right controls; and, widely sharing the lessons-learned.
PEER® near-miss reporting process does all these things:  the severity of impact is aligned with potential SIF categories;  the identification of root-causes is done by the near-miss reporter using the structured pre-determined Basic, Immediate and Root Causes menu;  the reporter can also suggest any appropriate risk controls to prevent recurrence;  the reporter chooses the most appropriate person to implement any corrective actions with an email automatically sent on submit. Feedback Reports provide information on the activity taking place at the time of the incident by location, and the collation and breakdown of root-causes to provide invaluable insights into operational risks. Corrective Action Completion can be tracked.
Near-miss or close-calls reports are a leading OSH indicator that provides signals about potential adverse events before they strike for real.
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