Safetip #35: Prioritize Near Misses Before Determining Causes

June 29, 2016
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

This week’s Safetip is about near miss reporting. Best-in-Class organizations have a near miss reporting system in place that allows them to record near misses and analyze them, to reduce workplace hazards and prevent incidents. In addition, many organizations .

Not All Near Misses Are the Same

An article in OHS Insider stresses that organizations must accurately prioritize all near misses, in order to manage them more effectively. Some near misses will have a higher priority because, for example, they may reveal a serious safety hazard, and therefore they should be investigated and addressed immediately. But other near misses will have a lower priority, and therefore may not require immediate attention.

The prioritization of near misses helps to determine:

  • The amount of attention that should be given to each incident.
  • The level and depth of analysis that should be performed when determining causes.
  • The amount of resources that should be assigned to investigating and implementing solutions.

Determine Causes Only After the Prioritization

After the prioritization of all enterprise-wide near misses is completed, both the direct and root causes of near misses can be determined, starting with the ones with the highest priority and going down the list. In many cases, the determination will be easy, but if causes are not immediately clear, it may be worthwhile to form an investigative team to look into the event, according to the OHS Insider article. The same techniques and methods can be used when conducting a root cause analysis of a near miss, as those used for an accident that resulted in a worker injury or fatality.

Additional Safetips

Here are links to additional Safetips on near misses:

Visit Enablon Insights again next Wednesday for a brand new Safetip!