Near Miss Best Practices

SKU: C-932Duration: 12 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 12 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has described near misses as incidents where no property was damaged and no personal injury sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury easily could have occurred. It has been shown that injury and damage-producing events are frequently preceded by warning signs or near miss incidents. For this reason, a program designed to identify, record, and address near miss incidents will improve worker safety and the safety culture of an organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the terms "near miss," "incident," "best practice," "root cause," and "controls"
  • Identify near miss incidents
  • List items that should be included in all near miss reports
  • List best practices for near miss programs
  • Identify the roles of workers, supervisors, and management in near miss programs
  • List the benefits of the proactive safety improvements generated by near miss programs
  • Identify ways to improve participation in near miss programs

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What are some alternative terms commonly used as to describe near misses?
Near misses are sometimes called "close calls," "near hits," "narrow escapes," and "near collisions." Many safety professionals prefer the term "near hit" because it is less dismissive of a potentially dangerous situation than "near miss."

What is a root cause?
A root cause is the underlying reason or reasons why an unsafe condition exists, or why a procedure or rule was not followed. The cause of a person falling down might be a wet, slippery floor, but the root cause of the fall would the leaky pipe that created the slippery floor.

If no damage is done in a near miss incident, why is it important to track and investigate them?
It is well established that multiple near misses precede actual accidents. By identifying work flow and safety problems at the near miss stage, situations which might cause real physical injury and damage can be detected and avoided, leading to a safer workplace.

What is one way to increase worker participation in filling out near miss incident reports?
It is important not to discipline or hold responsible someone who reports a near miss incident.

Which type of employee is the most important in implementing a near miss best practices program?
All levels of employees need to be involved in a successful near miss management program. Frontline workers are needed to identify and report incidents, management must provide the necessary resources and time for the program, and supervisors need to coordinate incoming reports and implementation of changes to improve workplace safety.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Every organization should establish their own definition or definitions of "near miss" or "near hit." (Note that some organizations require more than one "near miss" definition in order to cover different job functions and multiple environments.) They should then communicate the agreed upon definition or definitions to employees at all levels. This ensures that everyone understands what needs to be reported.   Some events that could be considered "near misses" include:   •A fork lift bumps into the corner of some storage shelves as it rounds a corner in a warehouse. The shelving remains intact, and no one is injured.

Additional Resources

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