Communication is Key
Providing awareness of a near miss helps keep the same thing from happening on other job sites. READ THAT AGAIN.
You might be embarrassed for almost causing an incident. You might be the only one who saw it. You might chalk it up as a close call. At the end of the day, keeping it to yourself doesn’t help anyone. However, owning and communicating a “what could have been” situation is a first-hand learning opportunity for us all.
Good catches and near misses are two very different types of hand-on safety education tools. At Helmkamp, we often talk about identifying a “good catch” and capturing those through weekly safety inspections in Procore. A good catch is proactively correcting work practices to prevent a potentially unsafe outcome. Good catches should happen regularly on the jobsite as they help reinforce our proactive safety culture.
However, a near miss is something unsafe that happened, that could have caused a safety accident or injury on the jobsite, but luckily did not. We can learn from these just as much as if they were to result in an accident. A near miss can resonate and spread awareness across the company in a more impactful way than a good catch does. That is why there is value in reporting both good catches and near misses.
It’s very easy to keep a near miss to yourself or let it go unreported because they don’t have serious effects at the time. What’s unfortunate about that is there may be a series of dangerous conditions that will eventually result in an accident if it goes unaddressed. In other words, a near miss is an accident that’s waiting to happen.
Communicating a near miss and discussing how the situation might be improved with your supervisors and safety director helps prevent it from happening again – both on your jobsite and others across the company. Be part of the solution… help provide awareness and prevent similar dangerous situations by reporting when a near miss happens.