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4 Ways to Improve the Achilles Heel of the Safety Program

EHS Software

Near Miss Reporting - the Achilles Heel of the Safety Program 

A near miss is a narrowly-avoided accident. Though it didn't result in injury or property damage, it may have if circumstances had been slightly different.

According to OSHA, these close calls should be reported and investigated. Unfortunately, employees (and managers) often avoid reporting for a variety of reasons. They may feel pressured by their co-workers to keep working or they're afraid they'll be blamed for the close call if they mention it to their superiors. A difficult, complicated reporting process will also discourage people from reporting near misses.

However, these close calls often point at larger problems—and the next time those problems arise, the workers may not be so lucky. Considering there are an average of 14 workplace deaths per day, your organization should want to do everything it can reduce that number. Improving your near-miss reporting is one solution and here are four ways to do it:

Explain the Process 

Near miss education should include information about the process of why to report a near miss, how to report a near miss, what happens when a near miss is reported and how to view and track the results of the reported near miss. An efficient near miss reporting process that delivers fast and efficient results will show the importance of near-miss reporting and how it benefits the entire organization. 

5 Steps for a Closed Loop Corrective Action Process

Conduct Timely Investigations 

The longer you wait to investigate the situation, the more likely people will forget the details about what happened. OSHA talks about the importance of going to the root cause of an incident or near miss and the details will help you get there. For example, it's not enough to say an incident occurred because there was a trip hazard. An investigation asks deeper questions: why was there trip hazard on the floor? Where did the trip hazard come from? How long had it been there? Is there a gap in procedures or training that led to the hazard?

Near misses with dangerous risk ratings should be investigated right away. 

Make the Reporting Process Easy

No one wants to tackle complicated reporting paperwork that takes time away from their workday. Develop an easy near miss reporting process. With a mobile device and an internet connection, you can use incident management software to quickly and easily report a near miss:

  • Customize near miss reporting to align with your workplace processes. 
  • Upload photos of the near miss. 
  • Assign standardized risk ratings to help prioritize resources and improve results.
  • Conduct an investigation and analyze the root cause of the near miss.
  • Assign, manage and complete corrective actions with standardized due dates based on risk ratings.
  • Identify trends by reviewing past near misses and efficiently allocate resources. 
  • Create transparency and accountability.

The software is easy to use and it empowers your entire workforce to take charge of safety in the workplace. Using it contributes to an overall culture of safety that values proactive measures to decrease the risk of injury, illness and property damage. 

Be Supportive of Near-Miss Reporting

Developing a culture of safety includes being supportive of near-miss reporting and that starts at the top of the organization. Employees can't feel as if they'll be punished for reporting—or they won't do it, even when it involves their own personal close call. 

For more information about safety management software schedule a consultation. 

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Topics: Near Misses