Best Practices for Establishing Near Miss Reporting Systems

WorkplaceAware Happenings
For Companies That Are Serious About Employee Safety

Issue No. 1 
January 2016
Best Practices for Establishing
Near Miss Reporting Systems

Near Miss Reporting Systems can be tough to establish in an organization, but once fully implemented can save money, time and even lives. Some of the best ways to establish a Near Miss Reporting System is laid out by OSHA and the National Safety Council’s Alliance Safety Program. Organizational leadership must establish a reporting culture that reinforces the idea that every opportunity to identify and control hazards, reduce risk and prevent harmful incidents must be acted on. This requires that the reporting system needs to be non-punitive and if desired, anonymous. Once reports are collected, everyone must be a part of the incident’s investigation to identify the root cause and weaknesses in the system. After the investigation, your organization must take actions to improve safety systems, eliminate hazards and reduce risks. Improvements may include extra training and feedback on daily tasks. Reporting near misses is vitally important for all organizations in order to prevent serious, fatal, and catastrophic incidents in the workplace.

New Features

Toggle Through Reports

New ability to easily navigate through reports on the Report Detail page with directional arrow buttons.

Enhanced Geotagging
Report maps will show the exact location where the report picture was captured (if location services are enabled on your mobile device).

Anonymous Reporting
Users have the option to send incident reports anonymously by the touch of a button.

Did You Know?

According to the 
CommunicationsNational Safety Council, nearly 13,700 U.S. workers are injured on the job every day. That is almost 5,000,000 injuries a year.

WorkplaceAware Beginnings

In December of 2013, the safety manager for a large U.S. food manufacturing plant approached Mobile Innovations about the possibility of using a MessageQube to enable near miss reporting by their 500-employee plant workforce.  The concept was simple.  Employees would use their mobile devices to send near miss reports via text message and have them print on a cellular printer called the MessageQube.  They could also use the MessageQube mobile app to attach pictures and create longer notes describing near misses.

The food manufacturing company had received only nine near misses in all of 2013. With an uptick in workplace accidents, the plant was under pressure by OSHA to step up near miss reporting by employees.  The solution using MessageQube was simple and could be implemented immediately.  A MessageQube device was placed in the plant safety office, and employee instructional guides were created and distributed to workers.  When a near miss was reported using text messaging or the mobile app, the report would print on the MessageQube and the bright green flashing light would alert safety managers that a report had been received. This would provide instant awareness that a report had been submitted giving safety managers the information they needed to take action.

Almost immediately the company saw near miss reporting increase by employees. By the end of the first quarter in 2014, employees had submitted 35 near miss reports using this simple process.  The information submitted was used to take corrective action, while also allowing managers to analyze unsafe trends that were developing in the plant.  The net result was that OSHA backed off on the pressure, seeing that the company had taken proactive measures to engage employees who were then actively reporting safety observations and near misses.

By observing the success that this solution created, Mobile Innovations embarked on creating a more comprehensive, feature-rich solution that became WorkplaceAware.  This included a mobile app for the iPhone and Android devices, along with an online dashboard for the reports to be posted.  Over time, the features of WorkplaceAware evolved based on ongoing client feedback.  By listening to clients, it has become a comprehensive, feature-rich solution that supports not only in-bound reporting, but also out-bound, interactive communication with employees and powerful management reporting.

Today, WorkplaceAware has clients across the United States and South America in industries that include construction, manufacturing, maritime, warehousing, education, healthcare and government.  Employers that are serious about employee safety have embraced WorkplaceAware as a valuable tool that’s become an integral part of their company’s’ overall commitment to workplace safety.

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