The Importance of reporting near misses

Near Misses

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, work 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. 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.

By encouraging near miss reporting, you can start to see patterns and gain valuable insights on where to best focus resources into safety.

Reporting all near misses and incidents on-site, is 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 keeping everyone safe 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 incident 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:

  • Everything is completed digitally on your team’s phone and the process is simple and easy to follow.
  • With remote reporting in the mobile App, 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.
  • All incidents are added to your digital incident register which is easily accessible from the HazardCo Hub whenever you need to revisit.

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 reported incident will be added to your incident register in the Hub, and HazardCo retains this for as long as you’re a member.

Ensure you take incidents and near misses seriously and investigate them. Investigations help you work out the root cause so you can put corrective actions in place to prevent a recurrence. 

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. If you’d like to learn more about the App and the Reporting Incident tool take a look at our short demo videos