When companies implement new safety policies and fix issues, it is often the result of some incident that has occurred. New policies are often a reaction to damage that has already been done. However, a proactive approach to workplace safety can prevent these costly incidents from happening in the first place. Preventable accidents are often preceded by "near misses," close calls that almost resulted in an injury or damage that would have to be paid for and likely result in a loss of productivity.
Often brushed off after they occur, near misses can provide valuable insight to employers, as they often foreshadow actual incidents. The National Safety Council has stated that, "history has shown repeatedly that most loss-producing events (incidents), both serious and catastrophic, were preceded by warnings or near-miss incidents." By tracking and analyzing these near misses, employers can adjust their safety standards accordingly before a serious accident ever occurs.
Tracking Near Misses
Despite their best efforts, managers and other supervisors aren't able to see everything that's going on at all times. Because of that, having a successful near miss tracking system means having employees on board and active in growing a strong culture of safety in the workplace.
To create a successful safety culture and prevent near misses from becoming full-fledged incidents, employers should implement a reporting system and get employees on board. This reporting system should be simple and anonymous to prevent employees from not reporting injuries out of fear of repercussion. These reports should then be followed up with investigations to find the root cause of and a solution to the near miss.
Prevention is possible
To encourage reporting, employees should be incentivized to use the system by being rewarded for using the system. Employees should not be rewarded simply for a decrease in incidents or near misses, as this may result in employees not reporting to keep the statistics low to earn the reward. The better approach would be to reward use of the system and recognize the improvements that have been made through the system's use.
Safety at work should be a concern for everybody but even preventable accidents still happen. If you or someone you know was injured at work, make sure your rights are protected. Contact our law offices today to speak with our experienced legal team. Our experienced attorneys will be glad to help.