Written by: Rob Sweeney, thefabricator.com
If a company doesn’t record its near misses, it’s missing a wealth of predictive information that could help prevent serious safety problems. For this reason, employees should be trained to identify near misses, and reporting these instances should be as quick and simple as possible.
Nothing provides safety managers with more details and more trend data than near misses. They are the canary in the coal mine, helping to predict where, when, and why an accident will happen. With robust near-miss reporting, metal fabricators can catch safety issues long before they turn dangerous or even tragic.
So why do so many companies ignore these valuable warnings? Is it because of cost, complicated processes, or lack of understanding? Or do they lack the tools for efficient reporting? While safety managers might blame apathetic employees, it’s more likely that workers don’t have the tools or training they need to recognize near misses and file reports quickly. They also may feel pressure not to file for fear of repercussions linked to violating protocols. There may be an unspoken understanding at the company that productivity outweighs safety.