How To Simplify Near Miss Reporting + Top Near Miss Examples In The Workplace

Last Updated: June 1, 2022
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If you’re in the manufacturing, energy, chemical or oil and gas industry, near miss reports might be a common occurrence. While The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t require a near miss system, implementing one can help keep your workplace and your employees safe from harm.

We know that tedious paperwork can be a pain — It’s time consuming, disorganized and costly. So, if you’re looking for a way to streamline your near miss reporting process, this post is for you.

We’ll share why it’s so important to report near miss events, look at the top examples of near miss in the workplace and detail how going digital can help simplify your reporting process.

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What Is A Near Miss?

A near miss, also known as a near hit or a close call, is an unexpected incident that almost resulted in injury or damage.

In other words, had there been a slight change in the event, such as location or time, it may have resulted in either injury or damage — or both. Some of the most common causes of a near miss include human error or behavior, and faulty equipment.

What Is A Near Miss Report?

A near miss report is a document that discloses an unexpected event that almost damaged your property or injured your employees while on the job.

Typically, a near miss report includes the following details:

  • Department
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Near hit description
  • Potential outcome description
  • Safety suggestions
  • Photos and videos (optional)

A near hit report can be documented on paper, where the details are written out, and submitted to a safety manager and physically stored.

At doForms, our mobile forms solutions offer a simplified, digital reporting process. With authorized access to reports from anywhere any time, you can report real-time close calls, send and store reports with no paperwork needed.

Operation workers in a construction site

Near miss reports allow your employees to document near hit incidents that occur in the workplace

Why Should You Report A Near Miss?

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 1 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace that caused a private industry employee to miss at least one day of work in 2020.

Reporting near hit incidents allows you to proactively fix faulty equipment and identify negative workplace behavior and processes to protect your employees and reduce the risk of potential accidents.

Whether it’s a leaky air conditioner, faulty equipment or disorderly employee behavior, a near hit report identifies risks in your workplace so you can determine the solutions needed to fix them.

In addition to accident prevention, employee satisfaction also increases when your employees know that their safety is prioritized.

 

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Top Near Miss Examples In The Workplace

From slips and trips to horseplay and risky behavior, here are the top close call examples employees face today.

1. Slips Or Trips

Often caused by stepping on oily or wet surfaces, a slip occurs when an employee loses balance and slides for a short distance.

On the other hand, a trip occurs when an employee’s foot hits an obstacle (for example, an unmarked step), causing them to lose balance and fall.

Examples include slipping due to leaking water from an air conditioner or tripping over debris on the floor.

To prevent slips and trips, clean floor spills, mark wet floors with proper signage and keep walkways free from clutter.

2. Falls

A fall occurs when your employee loses balance from an elevated location, such as a ladder, and falls to the ground.

A 2021 survey ranked falls as the second most disabling workplace injury in the United States.

Examples of a fall include falling from a ladder or losing balance while retrieving items from a high shelf.

To prevent falls, install illuminated steps and spotlights in dim areas and replace unstable ladders with new ones.

3. Risky Behavior

Risky behavior occurs when an employee intentionally or accidentally neglects safety measures and personal protective equipment (PPE) in your workplace.

Examples include retrieving an item on a steep roof without a harness or operating a forklift while on medication.

To prevent risky behavior close calls, require workplace safety measures and use PPE.

4. Horseplay

Horseplay includes foolish equipment operation, rowdy playing and pressuring others to participate in similar acts.

Examples include throwing tools at another co-worker or playing pranks such as switching off the lights.

To prevent close calls related to horseplay, implement workplace guidelines for professional employee conduct.

5. Narrow Escapes

A narrow escape occurs when an employee barely avoids an unfortunate accident.

Examples of narrow escapes include clothing getting caught in between a conveyor belt or escaping falling debris in just a few seconds.

To prevent narrow escapes, require mandatory heavy equipment courses and ensure your employees avoid wearing loose clothing that can get jammed between machines.

6. Lack Of Signages

Close calls related to lack of signage occur when employees are required to work near hazardous materials or areas that do not have proper signages in place.

Examples include entering an unmarked under-construction area without using PPE or handling unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals.

To prevent close calls caused by hazardous materials and lack of signages, label harmful chemical containers and ensure all signage is visible and clear.

7. Equipment

Close calls related to equipment occur when employees lack training or awareness when operating different types of equipment such as forklifts, tractors or tower cranes.

Similar to falls, operating equipment in the workplace is also a top cause that results in employee injuries. The National Safety Council reported that equipment found in the workplace was the third leading cause of employee injuries in 2019.

Examples of equipment near misses include removing debris from a forklift without ensuring disconnection from the power source or equipment usage despite experiencing a malfunction.

To prevent equipment close calls, require your employees to attend equipment training and maintenance classes.

8. Working At Heights

Working at height close calls occur when an employee works from an elevated location, such as a roof or scaffolding, and falls to the ground.

Examples include leaning on an unstable skylight panel and losing balance.

To prevent working at height close calls, require your employees to wear PPE such as a helmet, body harness and other protective equipment to prevent injury.

An employee wears a harness

Working at height close calls occur when an employee works from an elevated and falls​

Simplify Your Near Miss Reports Using doForms

While not required by OSHA law, near hit reports are an essential part of maintaining a safe workplace, because they allow you to identify potentially dangerous situations and find a solution, before serious damage or an injury occurs.

Paperwork can be time-consuming, costly and disorganized, which is why we developed doForms — a mobile forms solution designed to remedy each and every issue that paper forms pose.

doForms allows you to gather real-time data, create custom mobile forms and streamline workflow management throughout your organization.

When a near miss occurs, simply type the details onto your mobile form using your phone, tablet or other device, regardless of where you are. Our convenient mobile app allows you to work from anywhere and access data on the go, store it on the cloud, and edit and save whenever a close call occurs.

With our secure mobile forms, you can deliver reports to safety managers as soon as an incident occurs, using any device, from anywhere, any time, and communicate proactively to find a solution.

From desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets, digitizing your near miss report process has never been faster, easier and more cost-effective.

With doForms, you can:

  • Create tasks, log hazards and send daily reports
  • Save money by ditching the paperless approach to reporting
  • Create your report from scratch or choose a custom template from our comprehensive library
  • Conveniently edit, send and store your mobile forms in a secure location for easy access
  • Access your reports using our mobile app, no matter your device or location

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Wrapping Up On Near Miss Events & Reporting

Near miss reports allow you to identify hazardous issues in your workplace that could lead to damage or an injury.

Once you’re aware of risky behavior or outdated equipment that poses a threat to your employees, you can perform the necessary actions to prevent accidents and ensure your employees are safe.

Traditional paperwork reports can be tedious, costly and slow for an issue that requires immediate attention.

With doForms, paper-based reports are a thing of the past.

doForms enables you to streamline your reporting process so you can create, personalize, edit, send and save your near miss reports at any time, from anywhere.

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