Should I be recording near misses?

Our Advisory Team gets a heap of questions about near misses and if they should be recorded. Let’s look at what’s considered a near miss, when they should be recorded and how to go about it. 

Near misses matter

Tradies know all too well how regularly they have a close call on-site. But is a “close call” the same as a near miss? 

Put simply, yes. A near miss is a dangerous event that occurred without causing personal injury or on-site damage of any kind. 

Examples could be anything from a worker tripping over stacked material, dropping a hammer off the scaffold onto the ground, or backing the truck and narrowly missing the boss’s ute. While these seem fairly innocent, they could have been more serious and it’s important that they are all reported. Evaluating what could have been done differently ensures on-site health and safety remains a priority, with near-miss prevention at the top of the list.

Why near misses are often brushed aside

Ignoring a near miss might not seem like a big deal, but it can create a culture on-site where safety isn’t taken seriously. We tend to find that when incidents aren’t reported, these are some of the common reasons why: 

  • Fear of standing out or blame – near misses may be swept under the rug to avoid blame.
  • Leaders don’t set an example – the crew on site won’t report small risks and near misses if managers don’t set a good example by doing it themselves.
  • Chalking it up to tradie culture – showcasing a ‘get over it and get on with it’ attitude is leading by poor example. Every near miss matters and the whole team can record them super fast with the HazardCo App.

Near miss reporting – it’s serious business

Look at near miss reporting as a second-chance educational tool. It’s not about blame or singling anyone out, it’s about discussing and emphasising a safer environment on-site.  Combined with encouraging near miss reporting, it could mean the difference between change or injury.

Are there patterns in near misses occurring? Are there lots of reports of tools falling from height?

Investigate and ensure controls like the below are in place: 

  • Can the work be done on the ground?
  • Only take the tools you need up at height
  • Can work be done with no one below?
  • Are toe / kickboards in place on scaffolding?
  • Put in place a exclusion zone below the work above


Near misses should never be overlooked. With a swipe and a few taps of the HazardCo App, on-site incident reporting couldn’t be easier. Every tradie deserves to knock off injury-free after a hard day on the tools. Follow up on near misses, discuss the possibilities and take action with HazardCo.