What is the difference between near miss and incident?

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Rick Molson
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Proven background of co-developing, updating, and implementing a wide range of OH&S programming specific to the occupational and process safety needs of individual companies as well as complying with all relevant government legislation and certifying partner requirements.

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Q:What is the difference between Near Miss and Incident?

Thank you very much for your question. We this and similar questions like this all the time, and generally there is some confusion between these two closely related items.

There are two terminologies commonly used, one is called an Incident and the second a Near Miss which are not to be confused with each other.

  • A Near Miss is a type of incident which could have been an accident if the parameters were changed, such as distance, people, task, tools, etc.
  • An Incident involves the injury of a person, equipment or property damage due to the failure of engineering processes, inefficiency of employee’s abilities to do the task correctly, kinetic, electrical and weather to mention a few.

Simply put all near misses are incidents but not all incidents are near misses.

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