1 - “We have very few injuries in general in our workplaces, so the logical step is to become more proactive, and near-miss reporting (and tracking) is one measure for that. One plant has a target to identify 180 close calls (or at-risk conditions) within the year, investigate those and implement the corrective actions.”

2 - “During investigations of more serious injuries, I found (with the investigation team of operators) that there were at least two or three people who almost got injured by the same method. Only, they figured “that was close,” and did not report it.”

3 - “Relate personal experiences and investigative findings. It can increase reporting of near-miss incidents. It ‘plays’ on the emotions of other people once they realize that they could have prevented a serious injury, but did nothing about it. I’ve followed this with the popular ‘I chose to look the other way’ safety poem by Don Merrell, and that has had success.”

4 - “With the number of potential near-miss incidents, there is no way we can continue to investigate to the detail of more serious incidents. Since the amount of detail from an injury is not necessarily needed, we created the form to capture critical information (What happened? When? Where? Why? and How to prevent?). We also analyze potential severity, and likelihood of occurrence to help gauge the degree of priority for the incident.”

By Mike Kalbaugh, CSP, EHS Manager - Retail Information Services, Avery Dennison

5 - “Many workplaces have automated systems such as dedicated emails and near-miss hotlines for reporting near-misses. I have even worked with one chemical plant that requires that at least one near-miss be reported every day, so essentially, they have to go out and look for something to report.”

6 - “It is assumed that if someone reports a near-miss, they have also taken the time to correct the situation. I have seen little in the way of tracking corrective actions to the reported near-misses.”

By Linda Tapp, ALCM, CSP

7 - “Injury-free events (IFEs) is the term Alcoa uses. Very valuable as a leading/lagging indicator. Our goal in 2007 is to have three times the IFEs reported and investigated as actual injuries. IFEs could be potential fatalities and cannot be ignored. All plants know they occur — especially with new hires.”

By John Wesley

8 - “Many times after an accident occurs, someone will say, ‘Oh that almost happened to me too,’ but they didn’t report it. It’s very frustrating when that happens. Near-miss information management can be time-consuming, but I think it’s worth it if you can prevent more serious events.”

9 - “It’s hard to encourage near-miss reporting. I’ve found that regular, high-impact training sometimes loosens up people to think about near-misses and report them.”

By Sharon Baker, CSP, Corning Inc.

10 - “I have had some good and bad experiences with ‘near-hit’ reporting. It really takes a good management environment to not lay blame when someone reports an incident. That will shut down the program immediately. I also have seen it work great because the informed leadership understands that they now have an opportunity to correct a situation without the sacrifice of an injury.”

By Eddie Greer, CSP, Eddie Greer & Associates

11 - “Many near-miss reports are for rather minimal issues that are ‘safe’ to report. Examples: cord on floor, fire extinguisher blocked, etc. No blame to anyone in particular, no self-incrimination.”

12 - “’I really nearly got seriously injured because I failed to work safely, follow a safe procedure, etc.’ is rarely reported unless it is so significant that it gets the attention of a number of folks, especially responsible management. As one manager put it, this is in the category of ‘I did something dumb’.”

13 - “To increase near-miss reporting, some organizations use incentives. Assuming the reward is valued, they will get the number (of reports) they desire. This is not a wise idea.”

14 - “Bottom line: Encourage and support near-miss reporting. Recognize the reporting limitations. Do not use it as a performance metric (too much human variability). Treat serious near-miss reports as though the recognized injury potential did occur.

By Thomas J. Durbin, Coordinator, Health and Safety Consulting Service, ORC Worldwide

15 - “Near-miss reporting is perhaps not the best name for this practice. It implies that something didn’t happen (or was a miss) when in reality ‘near-misses’ are events/actions where something did in fact occur — but the outcome was not severe enough to be elevated to an injury or environmental incident.”

16 - “An organization is ahead of the game if it possesses an EHS management system mindset that encourages, and in fact rewards, the reporting and analysis of all incidents no matter how ‘near’ they may be. In the spirit of continuous improvement these events should be viewed as opportunities to learn and become better.”

17 - “I fear that all too often organizations make the mistake of setting expectations for the number of ‘near-misses’ that get reported. In my experience this is a sure way to reduce reporting.”

By Dave Johnson, Honeywell