Near Miss / Close Catch Reporting
Why is Near Miss Reporting Important?
A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near. Although the label of "human error" is commonly applied to an initiating event, a faulty process or system invariably permits or compounds the harm, and should be the focus of improvement. Other familiar terms for these events are "close call," or in the case of moving objects, "near collision," near hit.
Incidents occur every day at the workplace that could result in a serious injury or damage. Most safety activities are reactive and not proactive. Many organizations wait for loses to occur before taking steps to prevent a recurrence. Near miss incidents often precede loss producing events but are largely ignored because nothing (no injury, damage or loss) happened. Employees are not enlightened to report these close calls as there has been no disruption or loss in the form of injuries or property damage. Thus, many opportunities to prevent the accidents that the organization has not yet had are lost. Recognizing and reporting near miss incidents can make a major difference to the safety of workers within organizations. History has shown repeatedly that most loss producing events (accidents) were preceded by warning or near accidents, sometimes also called close calls, narrow escapes or near hits.
Near miss reporting is vitally important to preventing serious, fatal and catastrophic incidents that are less frequent but far more harmful than other incidents.
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