FAQ: Near Misses
What is meant by the term “near miss”?
OSHA defines near misses as episodes where no property was damaged and no personal injury occurred in spite of the fact that, given a slight shift of time or location, damage or injury would most likely have occurred.
What makes surface near misses unique?
Surface near misses involve things out of place on ground, floor, counter or other flat area where people walk or work. These are examples:
- Cords in workers’ walkway
- Debris on the floor
- Tools littering the floor, ground or counter area
- Cluttered traffic paths
Why is it important for employees to report near misses?
If it had not been for luck, the near miss could have caused injury or death. It is important to note the presence of near misses, report it accurately and devise a plan to correct the situation.
What is the job of the safety program committee?
Every workplace needs a safety management committee whose job is to ensure near misses are reported and consequently investigated. The committee’s goal is the reduction of the instances of serious incidents by correcting the cause of the near miss.