I have been attempting to set up a reporting procedure for near miss accidents. What seemed to be a very easy task has not went well. I would like any ideas that are out there to help me get this going.
My company has a program that aids in all injury and illness reporting, including near miss accidents. Part of the system allows employees so submit notifications to the administrator of what happened, where, when, etc. and in the case of anything further than a near miss you can use the information to generate the OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 reports all in the same system.
Please let me know if you would like more information on the system or would like to see a quick online presentation of exactly how it works. You may reach me at 312-881-2933 or email@example.com. Thanks so much!
Jim, well the first thing I would do, is having safety stand down and meet will all employees (All Hands Meeting) if possible. Have management and all supervisors attend the meeting. I would than present your written program and if you don’t, write one now! Tell them the important of reporting near misses and that they are indicator that are showing defect or fault in your processes. Ensure them that reporting near misses doesn’t mean that they will have disciplinary action taken against them. I would stress the importance of reporting near misses, because the next near miss maybe a direct hit!
And finally make sure your safety department is out in field or floor watching your processes and talking to the employees, asking question and most important address their concerns (earn their trust).
The near miss program ranks number one or two in the "Top Ten" accident prevention endeavors and it is my "pet peeve". Being a strong believer in the strength of this program, I began "enforcing" (really encouraging because I do not believe attitudes can be forced) our company's 20 year old program. The participation is very sparse, to say the least. I think the answer lies in educating our workers on what really is a near miss and what is just another paper trail. (I think many workers believe the latter)
I believe an important factor is the form itself that one is required to fill out. It should be short and terse. Only one page, preferrably a 3X5" stiff card that could be kept in the back pocket, lunch or tool box. But that only gets you to first base. Far more important is the follow up. Did the worker fill it out and give it to his superivor only for it to just disappear and nothing was done? I assure you that worker will not fill out another one. Finally, many workers fear a near miss report will be a bad reflection on their safety related performance. Rather than having a worker feel this is "strike one" on him or her, a near miss report should be rewarded as a "home run". Sadly, a near miss ignored is going to happen again, 100 percent of the time.
First we being safety officers, must gain the confidence of our workmates in the work place. Most near misses and accidents are swept under the carpets, especially if it is linked to the KPI of individuals. It is only by being one among the workers and gaining their confidence, one can gain the information one needs. It is also important that once the near miss is reported actions are taken for eliminating any future occurence. It is only then people will understand the importance of reporting the near misses. If no action is taken when a near miss is reported, people will think that it is another paper work and will end up in file. The important thing is share the near misses with the team and advise them on the potential hazards and danger and how to avoid them if future.
I wish you luck! I have been trying to get near misses reported for the past year when I took over as Safety Officer. I have a great relationship with all of our 150 associates and most of the management. The problem I run into is supervisors and management think it's a waste of time. Asociates don't understand what is a "near miss" despite training on it. The only advice I can give is to go on the floor and be the "Safety Police" for a month or two and point out any near misses, following up with paperwork - emails etc.. until you get the proper responses from the supervisors and management. Continously stress that no one will be in trouble for the incidents - it is strictly to prevent someone from getting hurt the next time. Some associates are now reporting incidents, but supervisors are still not following through with the reporting unless associates let me know about it and I repeatedly call the suervisors on it!
At the compant I last worked for we recieved quarterly bonuses with 4% of our quarterly earnings being the most that could be recieved. There were percentage points taken off for any crteria that was not matched. There were production criteria environmentat criteria as well as safetry criteria. A certain number of near misses reported was one of these criteria. This may not work for everyone but I think that it alerted everyone to what a near miss looked like and that they truly do need to be reported.
To assist in setting up a near miss reporting program, I communicated the purpose and the process throught out the organization and used the Safety Committee, and Union as safe go to people to gain the trust of the employees. Also, this will allow follow up after the issue has been investigated and a correcive action has been determined. After employees realize the purpose is to eliminate unsafe acts or conditions they will feel more comfortable in reporting near miss incidents.
I see lots of good suggestions here so far, and I hope that some of them are helping you.
One thing that I have seen done successfully is use of a system for reporting near misses and anything that might be considered an unsafe condition. We had a simple database setup where employees could enter them anonymously or not. All electronic, never took more than a minute to fill out the form. Some near misses had to be followed up with a more specific investigation. Most importantly, we had a team who addressed every issue. They did this in the context of their daily jobs in maintenance and operations - not as a special assignment detail. Our view was that an unsafe condition is a near miss. We even had employees reporting on ones they resolved themselves as a way of getting others to learn about the problems.
So I would consider making it as simple as possible (not procedural or cumbersome) and have a way of responding to what you learn.
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