All incidents, whether a near miss or an actual injury-related event, should be investigated. Near miss reporting and investigation allow you to identify and control hazards before they cause a more serious incident. Accident/incident investigations are a tool for uncovering hazards that either were missed earlier or have managed to slip out of the controls planned for them. It is useful only when done with the aim of discovering every contributing factor to the accident/incident to “foolproof” the condition and/or activity and prevent future occurrences. In other words, your objective is to identify root causes, not to primarily set blame.
- ACCIDENT – The National Safety Council defines an accident as an undesired event that results in personal injury or property damage.
- INCIDENT – An incident is an unplanned, undesired event that adversely affects completion of a task.
- NEAR MISS – Near misses describe 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.
via Safety and Health Management Systems eTool | Module 4: Creating Change – Safety and Health Program Management: Fact Sheets: Accident/Incident Investigation.
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 is a “close call”, or in the case of moving objects, “near collision” or a near hit.
via Near miss (safety) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
How reporting close calls can prevent future incidents
- Incidents occur every day at the workplace that could result in a serious injury or damage.
- A near-miss program may help prevent future incidents.
- One problem that companies face with near-miss programs is employees’ fear of being blamed after reporting a near miss.
- Employers need to make the process of reporting a near miss as easy as possible.
via How reporting close calls can prevent future incidents.
One of the best ways to avoid further accidents is to understand how an accident occurred and how to avoid that type of accident in the future. The accident investigation is a tool. The goal is not to lay blame. The goal in an accident investigation is to:
- Satisfy legal requirements (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health? NIOSH, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration?OSHA)
- Find out what happened and determine immediate and underlying or root causes.
- Rethink the safety hazard.
- Introduce ways to prevent a reoccurrence
- Establish training needs.
- An accident, a near miss and an incident should all be investigated.
- Accident investigations are a tool for uncovering hazards that either were missed earlier or require new controls (policies, procedures or personal protective equipment).
- Near-miss reporting and investigation identify and control safety or health hazards before they cause a more serious incident.
- Incident investigations should focus on prevention.
ACCIDENT — an undesired event or sequence of events causing injury, ill-health or property damage.
NEAR MISS — near misses describe incidents where, given a slight shift in time or distance, injury, ill-health or damage easily could have occurred, but didn’t.
INCIDENT — an incident is an unplanned, undesired event that hinders completion of a task and may cause injury or other damage.
via Workplace Safety Toolkit.