A “near miss” is an incident that could have resulted in injury or ill health or property damage but fortunately, thank your “lucky stars”, it did not. A “near miss” is also sometimes called a “near hit”.
So if a “near miss” happens in the workplace should it be ignored or should some action be taken?
Some near misses have to be reported to WorkCover, (see Part 3 of the WHS Act 2011), for example near misses that involved a risk of;
An explosion or fire; or
an escape of gas, dangerous goods or steam; or
serious injury or illness; or
substantial property damage
Regardless of the need to report these near misses to WorkCover, your organization needs to know about all near misses in your workplace so that the causes can be found and handled (see Part 3 of the WHS Regulation 2011).
Today’s near miss if left unhandled could be tomorrow’s disastrous accident.
Does your organisation have a system and procedure to deal with near misses? Try this simple checklist:
Reporting of near misses is encouraged
Employees can easily report near misses
Employees do report all near misses
Near misses are investigated and the causes found and handled.