It is important that reporting accidents and near-misses are important for several reasons. It allows for proper medical treatment to be given to those who are injured, helps identify hazards that need to be addressed to prevent future accidents, and can also assist in the investigation of the incident to determine the cause and how to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This ultimately can help to improve overall safety in the workplace.
There are a number of keywords that are relevant to accidents and near misses.
Accidents – are unplanned events that may or may not cause injury or property damage.
Near Miss – is an incident where the change of circumstances or timing may have resulted in injury or property damage being sustained?
Hazard – is anything with the potential to cause harm to people or property.
Risk – is the chance or likelihood that a hazard will cause injury or damage.
Lost Time Injuries – are those injuries that result in a full day or shift being lost.
Safety Management near miss identification recognition and investigation [PDF]
Planning and Assessment of Risks
While it is important to report accidents and near misses it is also important to try to prevent accidents by planning each job for safety and adopting safe work practices.
Safe Work Practices
All injuries no matter how insignificant they may at first appear, are to be reported to immediate Supervisors and are to be included in the Record of First Aid/Medical Treatments by the OH Nurse or First Aider.
All investigations must aim to establish the sequence of events that actually took place and include a comparison with the sequence of events that should have taken place. Incident investigations are to pursue the cause and not the blame. This pursuit is to be limited to the gathering of facts, therefore opinions should not be sought from unqualified witnesses or from persons with no personal knowledge of the incident.
Under normal circumstances, investigations are to be conducted by Supervisors and/or the Workplace Managers and an employee representative where applicable. The extent of an investigation is to be determined by the Workplace Manager.
All Incident Reporting and Investigation Forms are to be recorded in a register maintained at the workplace.
To report near misses your supervisor should be contacted and will advise on what actions should be taken to prevent recurrences in the future.
Reporting of Faults/Hazards
It should be the aim of each and every one of us to prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace by identifying hazards, unsafe situations, and work practices.
Report Near Misses Before They Become Accidents:
- Once a near miss occurs, report it immediately to the nearest foreman or supervisor. The potential for such incidents exists all over the workplace, so all employees-not just supervisors– must help identify them.
- If the near miss is a result of an unsafe condition, don’t continue to work under that condition until the problem has been corrected and your supervisor gives the okay to proceed.
- If the incident is a result of unsafe acts, be certain that everyone involved has been alerted to their actions before they continue with the job.
Near Misses Are A Warning:
Letting a near miss go unreported provides an opportunity for a serious accident to occur. Correcting these actions or conditions will enhance the safety within your facility and provide a better working environment for everyone involved. Don’t let yourself or co-workers become statistics–report near misses to your supervisor.
Download the full package of Incident Accidents and Reporting/investigating of Near Misses.