Without getting into too much detail, you can probably see the end result. A serious injury, a catastrophic accident – or worse - deaths. See, failing to report a near miss in any business is the same as asking for a serious accident to occur.
Reporting a near miss is critical in the workplace.
Walking away from something that could potentially turn into a serious incident is will never fix anything – it’ll just end in pain and an added expense. Considering the steep price of workplace injuries and illnesses per OSHA, employers pay somewhere around $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation cost alone.
Unfortunately, some people are often tempted to dismiss a near miss as a “no harm, no foul” situation. But the only way to prevent a serious situation from occurring is to:
- Define the near miss – If there was an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so – it needs to be reported.
- Communicate the near miss – Motivate workers to report all near misses with programs that make it easy for them to take action and report it.
- Get your employees involves – Ensure your entire workplace understands how and why they need to report near misses.
The truth is an unreported near miss today could result in a fatality tomorrow. Imagine how many accidents could’ve been prevented if someone said something and took a moment to report the incident.
As employers, you have an obligation to create a safe and healthy workplace. But without a culture devoted to safety, employees are less inclined to report situations that are unsafe.
Encourage your employees to use a near miss an opportunity to identify a safety issue before a serious accident occurs. The best way to motivate more safe working days is by displaying the number of days employees have worked safely on electronic scoreboards.
4 Tips on successfully reporting near misses:
- Make sure your report answers the 5 W's: who, what, when, where, why, and how
- Avoid shaming or placing blame
- Remove the "Tattle Tale" stigma, develop an anonymous reporting system
- Use close call incident reports as safety training topics to improve policies and practices
Every industry, from healthcare to construction, can benefit from reporting near misses. With bold, eye-capturing safety messages and counting safe working days, you can motivate workers to beat their previous safe working day record and to always report a near miss.