Near Misses

A near miss or close call is an event that did not cause an injury, damage, or illness but could have been a potential accident. A near miss is a zero cost learning opportunity to improve the health and safety practices of the company. Employees are exposed to many near miss events at their work places every day. By investigating and tracking the root cause of near miss events an organization can control and prevent future accidents. Conducting a near miss reporting process encourages employees to be active in helping to solve problems. Work environment assessment and work planning will help employees to spot the problems in advance and fix them before they can cause harm. OSHA regulations require companies to investigate or take action after certain near misses. This includes investigating near misses during entry into confined spaces, near misses in powered industrial trucks, near misses involving fall protection, and near misses involving serious chemical hazards. Refresher training must be provided to employees involved in near misses.

  1. Near Miss Practices:
  • Leadership must establish a culture of reporting near misses in order to prevent future accidents.
  • Investigate near misses to identify the root cause of an event.
  • Once the root cause has been identified, identify a solution to the problem and educate all who could be impacted.
  • Create an easy process for reporting near misses.
  • To prevent the near miss event from recurring, the company should conduct training and provide feedback on employee performance.
  • Employees must be educated on near miss reporting procedures.
  • Establish a training program for near misses.