Let’s look at what’s considered a near miss, when they should be recorded and how to go about it.
Near misses matter
Trades 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 pickup. 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.
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 safety 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 really easily 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?
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 worker deserves to head home injury free after a hard day on the tools. Follow up on near misses, discuss what you’ve learnt and take action.