Hazard VS Near Miss Reporting

A key principle of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is the requirement for a risk and hazard management process, to identify potential and actual sources of harm.

When risks and hazards are recognised early, controls can be put in place to prevent harm to workers, visitors, and the public. 

Reporting and controlling hazards/risks is a way of being proactive and helping create a safe environment for everyone to work in.

There are always going to be hazards and risks on construction sites; they are dynamic places. Identifying the hazards that could cause serious injury or harm to both workers’ health and safety helps manage risk as the project moves along and helps those who manage the jobs plan for them better in the future. 

For example:
The concrete pumping truck has a blockage on-site, and the team decides to try and rectify the blockage whilst other workers are in close proximity. Joe is aware of the hazards and risks of clearing blockages under high pressure, and that someone could get seriously injured if things go wrong. He recommends that the concrete pumping team stop and do it away from other workers in a safe location. Because no incident or near miss occurred of anyone getting or nearly getting hurt. Joe logs it as a hazard in the HazardCo App.

The company reviews all the hazard reports that have been logged for the project and sees Joe’s hazard report. With new knowledge of the dangers involved and the controls used to manage the risks of concrete truck blockages. The company decides to use those controls on all sites going forward. 

Hazard reporting is an effective and ongoing way for workers to raise concerns or suggest improvements on a day-to-day basis. Helping PCBU’s also meet the worker engagement and participation duty under the Act.

Hazards and risks can be identified in site reviews and risk assessments. Reporting an incident as “Other” can also be a way to log hazards not listed. These can be done using the HazardCo App. 

How hazards differ from near misses:

Hazard: something could occur. 

Near Miss: something did occur but there was no harm caused.

Hazard reporting: 

  • Is being proactive and controlling risk before it turns into an incident. 
  • Can help to get workers involved in managing site safety. 
  • Requires someone to review the reports and be proactive.

Hazard example:
Joe notices an extension cable has been badly damaged and is still plugged in. He turns off the power and removes the cable from services and logs it in the App before someone could get hurt.

Near Miss reporting: 

  • Is recording incidents that nearly caused or had the potential to cause harm. 
  • These show how well or not controls are working. 
  • Too many similar near misses could indicate you have an issue that needs controlling. 

Near miss example:
Joe sees a fellow worker about to roll up a badly damaged extension cord whilst it is still plugged in, he immediately stops the worker before he could have got hurt. Turns off the power and removes the cable from service and logs a near miss in the App.

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