What is a near-miss?
A “near-miss” is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Other familiar terms for these near misses are a “narrow escape” or in the case of moving objects, “near collision” or a “near hit”.
The importance of a near-miss report
- Injuries and illnesses can be prevented and lives saved by reporting near-miss incidents
- Reporting a near miss helps to establish and continue safe practices
- Information provided enables an employer to communicate facts, causes, and corrective actions to all employees regarding near misses
- It provides valuable information to employees about how to avoid/prevent future incidents, accidents and injuries
- It provides an opportunity to improve safety, health, environmental, and security of any operation
- Prevent repeat of the near-miss/incident/accident
- Helps to formulate strategies
- Increases productivity
- Improvement of operational and safety procedures
- Raise safety awareness level
- Reduces tolerance for risk
- Tool to identify workplace hazards
- Enhances the safety culture of the workforce
The aim of the near-miss investigation
The aim of the investigation is not to lay blame but to find out what happened and determine immediate and underlying root causes. It involves fact-finding:
- What happened?
- What was the root cause?
- What should be done to prevent a repeat of the incident?
The key result should be to prevent a repeat of the same incident.