Safety Tip of the Week – Near Miss – Report It

A “near miss” or accident without injury is easy to shrug off and forget. But there is a danger in brushing off accidents that don’t hurt, harm, or damage. When a “near miss” happens, it should immediately send up a red warning flag that something was wrong, unplanned, unexpected, and could happen again. The next time it happens, it could result in serious damage, injury, or death.

A worker received an electric shock on a piece of equipment he was using. He was not injured and he did not report the incident. A few days later another worker also received a shock from the same defective equipment and he too did not report the problem. Within days a third worker also received an electrical shock, which killed him.

One of the biggest problems with near misses is that employees tend not to report them. They should be taken seriously and reported immediately. Point out that the sooner a safety problem is brought to management’s attention, the sooner you can find out what’s going on and take action to prevent someone from getting hurt the next time the same thing happens.

Near Misses:

Most accidents can be predicted by near misses. According to the National Safety Council, 75% of all accidents are preceded by one or more near misses. The difference between a near miss and a serious injury might be a fraction of an inch or a split second of time.

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