According to WorkSafe NZ, a near miss is defined as an incident that occurs but doesn’t lead to injury, illness or damage.
No matter what working environment you are in, we have near misses every day. On-site a near miss could be tripping over stacked material, it could be dropping the hammer off the scaffold onto the ground or backing the truck and narrowly missing the bosses ute.
While these seem fairly innocent, they could have been more serious.
Like other risks or accidents, these near misses need to be recorded and reported as soon as they occur. Once they have been, you can look into what caused the near-miss and put steps in place to avoid it turning into something more serious.
Reporting near misses
Near misses should be considered the same as an accident. But often they aren’t.
We often find that near misses are very rarely reported, and actually brushed off. We tend to find there are several recurring reasons why they are not reported:
- Fear of blame – no one likes being singled out or used as an example of what not to do. This leads to people sweeping things under the rug
- ‘She’ll be right’ attitude – maybe this is our kiwi attitude but many tradies think a near miss is not worth reporting cause an accident didn’t happen or it was small
- Lack of leadership – if our managers aren’t diligent and reporting small risks or near misses then why would the rest of the team
Encourage reporting and recording
Best practice is that all incidents, whether they cause injury or not, need to be reported and added to your event register.
Encouraging the reporting of these incidents is simple with the HazardCo App, as we have:
- Made it simple – everything is done digitally on your teams’ phone and the process is simple and easy to follow
- Remote reporting – with the App being on your phone, your team no longer has to wait until they get home or to the office to report the incident. They can quickly do it while it’s still fresh
- Encourages conversation – with the App you can easily record and quickly pull up all incidents through the HazardCo Hub and discuss them in toolbox meetings
- Storage of incidents – all incidents are added to your digital event register which is easily accessible from the HazardCo Hub whenever you need to revisit
Near misses are just as dangerous as actual incidents. If you’ve had a near miss, you might have got lucky but someone else might not.
Don’t take near misses lightly. Report the incident as soon as it happens with the HazardCo App.