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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com

May 17, 2013

How to Overcome Barriers to Near-Miss Reporting

Safety Reporting sign
at ComplianceSigns.com
You've probably read about near-miss reporting. An Indiana foundry recently recorded 1 million hours without a lost-time accident, and a construction company reported 3.1 million safe hours while building a Louisiana power plant. Both credit near-miss reporting as important factors in their safety success.

Proponents say near-miss reporting builds worker trust, encourages employee involvement, identifies and controls unknown or unrecognized risks, and enhances management credibility. It can pay big safety dividends by controlling risks before injuries or property damage occurs. But effective near-miss reporting requires a different way of thinking about safety, and your organization's current culture may actually be preventing these benefits - even if you already have a near-miss program in place.


If your organization is not receiving about 50 near-miss reports for every minor injury incident, you're probably facing cultural barriers that inhibit near-miss reporting - and also inhibit you from gaining information that could prevent future incidents. This is a key message of the May cover story of Professional Safety magazine. Near-Miss Reporting: A Missing Link in Safety Culture presents a practical process to help overcome resistance to near-miss reports.

The article focuses on near-miss indicators and methods employed to overcome cultural barriers that typically inhibit near-miss reporting success. It gives real-world examples and identifies common safety program flaws and barriers to reporting, then gives advice on how to overcome those barriers and achieve ongoing success.

Key Points:


  • Identifying and investigating near-misses are key to finding and controlling risks before workers are injured or property is damaged.
  • Organizations often struggle to make near-miss reporting part of their culture due to various barriers that affect near-miss initiatives.
  • By addressing common barriers, you can overcome resistance and reap the benefits of near-miss reporting.
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