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International practice Near Miss

Oct. 20 2020

In our daily and professional lives, we face various dangerous or risky situations that could harm our health or even lead to death. And we think, wiping sweat from our forehead: "Thank God, this time it was a miss"! Then we «get up», move forward and it never crosses our minds what if it did not miss, what led to this situation, what we should do to avoid these situations in the future.

In international practice, there is such a notion as "close call" to the incident or Near Miss. In general, this concept covers all human activities throughout entire life. This is getting up in the morning, moving the stairs, the crosswalks, shopping in the nearest store, catching public transport or driving own car. In our professional lives, we are mostly concerned about the level of occupational injuries, accidents, while doing our job and being at the workplace.

What can we do to prevent and reduce the quantity of accidents at work paying attention to the "Near Miss"?

An incident is an occurrence arising out of, or in the course of, work that could or does result in injury and ill health. The phrase "may result in" shall be understood as a Near Miss. This is stipulated as a separate explanation in note 3.35 ISO 45001 “Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements with guidance for use” - An incident where no injury and ill health occurs, but has the potential to do so, may be referred to as a “near‐miss”, “near‐hit” or “close call”.

According to the investigation, 240,000 Near Misses lead to 20,000 minor injuries, or up to 400 reportable injuries, or one fatality (see figure). Therefore, to reduce a quantity of injuries, in addition to improving the safety culture in general and reducing unsafe acts by employees, it is also necessary to reduce a number of Near Misses, which requires the implementation of appropriate process management.

near miss eng

 The Near Miss process shall be understood as implementation of the next steps:
  • introduction and explanation of the main principles of "Near Miss";
  • implementation of the relevant Procedure for detection and registration;
  • analysis and determination of the root causes of "Near Miss";
  • implementation of appropriate corrective actions to prevent such events in the future;
  • control of implementation of proposed corrective actions and measures.

It shall be also understood that Near Miss, which has just happened, involves first an immediate response to the situation, informing the relevant services and implementation of immediate actions to occupational safety of the employees!

The purpose of implementation the Near Miss process is elimination of the root causes of "Near Misses" and implementation of actions that should prevent the recurrence of these cases and incidents with more serious consequences and accidents at work in the future.

Bureau Veritas offers:
  • Training and understanding of the process for personnel
  • Development of the "Near Miss" Procedure
  • Development of the Near Miss record sheet
  • Development of projects of informational stands
  • Implementation of the Near Miss system and integration into the Occupational health and safety management systems at your company.