In almost every industry, it is customary to file a report when an accident or injury happens in the workplace. This is done so that companies have the chance to put preventative measures in place to decrease the chances of a recurring accident. Most companies have a very detailed procedure for accident reports and are intentional about documenting injuries and incidents in the workplace.
But what about almost-accidents? What about the times when a scenario or situation could have led to bodily harm—but didn’t? These are referred to as “near misses” and are just as important to document as actual accidents. Here are some of the most common near miss examples along with some tips on how reporting them can contribute to a safer work environment.
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Slipping or Tripping
Slipping, tripping, and falling are some of the most common workplace accidents. Understanding the areas in your workplace that are most prone to trip and fall accidents will help you keep these spaces safe.
Some near miss examples when it comes to slipping and tripping at work include:
- Poor lighting resulting in an employee tripping, and almost falling over an undetected extension cord
- A leaky air conditioner drips onto a walkway resulting in an employee slipping and nearly falling
- A missing or worn step marker resulting in an employee tripping over a step
We all like to have a little fun at work, but sometimes when employees let their guard down or are playing around, it can lead to accidents and injuries. Other times, employees sacrifice policy and safety in an effort to do something a little faster. In both cases, employees open themselves up to increased risk for accidents. It is essential to document these near-misses, so employees understand how important it is to always use precautions in the workplace.
Here are some common near injury examples:
- In the absence of a ladder, an employee uses a stool as a substitute and looses balance, nearly falling
- An employee is operating a forklift and unstable shelving results in inventory crashing down around them
Device Magic’s innovative photo feature allows you to incorporate pictures into your near miss reports so you can more accurately identify workplace hazards. Learn more
Any workplace has the potential for accidents and injuries, but employees that work with heights have to be even more aware of workplace risks. Falling from elevated heights can lead to severe injuries and even death. Every incident, even when nobody is hurt, should be reported to help prevent future falls from occurring.
Some examples of near misses for employees working with heights include:
- Faulty scaffolding makes it dangerous for workers to walk across a roof
- A worker stumbles over misplaced roofing tools and is not wearing any safety equipment
In these examples, nobody is hurt or falls from their elevated workplace, but the potential is there. Documenting these near misses can help workers be more aware of their surroundings and can help to prevent catastrophic accidents in the future.
If your workplace requires employees to handle or work close to hazardous materials, accidents and potential accidents must be appropriately documented.
Some examples of near misses for employees managing hazardous materials include:
- Smoking areas are not clearly designated, so a worker attempts to light a cigarette close to flammable chemicals
Education and proper signage can help to reduce accidents related to hazardous materials.
Workers responsible for operating heavy machinery should always be aware of the risks associated with driving, cleaning, assembling, and disassembling this type of equipment. Failure to use precaution and analyze risks when operating heavy equipment could lead to serious injury and death.
Some near miss examples for employees handling heavy machinery in the workplace include:
- A worker slips and falls while trying to climb into the cab of a bulldozer
- A worker is able to jump out of the way before being pinned between two large onsite vehicles
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are over a 150,000 cases of injuries on construction sites each year. While many of these are associated with falls, improper use machinery or accidents caused by heavy machinery make up a significant percentage. And that is just on construction sites!
Provide Near Miss Training
Accidents happen. Even in workspaces that are intentional about safety and risk prevention, workers can get hurt. As an employer, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to ensure that your employees are safe on the job. Beyond documenting accidents when they happen, it’s important to also be diligent about reporting near misses. By documenting potential hazards, you bring awareness to high-risk situations and can put procedures in place that can reduce the number of workplace accidents.
One way you can help reduce accidents is by offering training and education about workplace safety. Educate your employees on the importance of accident documentation, and show them how to document a near miss as well. When everyone is on the same page regarding safety and incident reporting, you can create a safer workplace.
How to Document a Near Miss
Proper documentation of near miss incidents is required to ensure that everybody in the work environment is aware of the risks and controls put in place to avoid accidents.
Device Magic Mobile Forms allow you to easily create a near-miss accident report that is customized to your unique needs. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create a comprehensive report that is easy to use, review, submit, and save. The custom form builder allows you to create a form that incorporates photos, free text, questions and answers, and even a place for an employee signature. These forms can then be accessed from anywhere, even offline.
When your team uses Device Magic’s custom form builder, you can collect data wherever you are, even without an internet connection. Offline access changes the way your organization communicates. Learn more
Try Device Magic for Free
Implementing a near miss reporting policy in your workplace can drastically reduce the number of accidents you have each year. Start by building a custom form that helps you document, analyze, and report these incidents to prevent future accidents. Take the first step toward a safer workplace—try Device Magic for free!