Reporting and recording incidents are one of the most frequently asked about topics for the HazardCo Advisory Team, here’s the low-down of what you need to know.
Health and Safety Evidence
Documentation is a key way of showing that health and safety is actively being managed on-site and provides evidence in areas like incident investigations and learnings that are shared from these. This can be in either digital or physical format.
By reporting all near misses and incidents on-site, everyone is working together to identify areas where you can better manage risks – it’s all about helping to prevent harm. Everyone on-site has a right to know of potential threats that may impact them, and everyone plays a role in protecting everyone else on-site.
Getting everyone to report near misses and incidents creates a culture of open, honest discussions about health and safety.
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.
The more reporting you have, the more data is available for those in a position to influence change, as it can help them to see areas that require improvement or to see how effective implemented controls have been.
Encouraging the reporting of these incidents is simple with the HazardCo App:
No matter how big or small, report all near misses and incidents so you can all learn from them. Using the Report Incident feature on your HazardCo App, fill out the fields to capture what happened. Your completed report is available in the Hub, and HazardCo retains this for as long as you’re a member.
If medical treatment was required, it could be a notifiable event. So at this point, the App will prompt you to call HazardCo, and our Advisory Team will talk you through what to do next and how to notify WorkSafe NZ.
As well as taking photos of the incident scene, we’ll recommend you carry out a Site Review and communicate both the review and Incident Report findings to your own team and the wider site crew, by conducting a Toolbox Meeting.
Remember that it’s a legal requirement to keep these records for a minimum of 5 years so doing everything on the App helps ticks that box for you.
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, construction sites nationwide 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 boss’s ute. While these seem fairly innocent, they could have been more serious.
Like other incidents, 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 incident. 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:
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. Treat near misses as a free learning tool to put controls in place to prevent more serious incidents from occurring.
Encourage near miss reporting, so you can start to see patterns and gain valuable insights on where to best focus resources into safety. Lots of reports of tools falling from height? Investing in and ensuring controls like the below are in place:
Don’t take near misses lightly. Report the incident as soon as it happens with the HazardCo App.
Ensure you take incidents and near misses seriously and investigate them. Investigations help you work out the root cause so as to put in place corrective actions.
We all dread an incident occurring, but if anything serious happens on your site it’s important you are prepared, remain calm, and do the right thing. When in doubt, call HazardCo – we are here to support the health and safety needs of all HazardCo members 24/7.