Near Miss Reporting a Key to Improving Safety

Improving safety at high-traffic intersections and congested work areas is a main focus for many industrial facility managers. Today, facility managers are increasingly seeing value in looking more closely at all accidents, regardless of scale, and even “near misses,” to proactively identify and help eliminate potential dangers.
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Near Miss Reporting a Key to Improving Safety

Improving safety at high-traffic intersections and congested work areas is a main focus for many industrial facility managers. In the past, accidents were often only documented when injury or serious damages occurred. Today, however, facility managers are increasingly seeing the value in looking more closely at all accidents, regardless of scale, and even “near misses,” to proactively identify and help eliminate potential dangers and improve safety.

Start Communicating

Any accident that almost happens, whether between two pedestrians or an employee and equipment, should be reported and analyzed. After receiving reports of near misses, facility managers should properly track the incidents via a near miss reporting program and investigate the specifics of the incident just like an actual accident.

To facilitate reporting, managers should ensure that near miss reporting programs are streamlined and presented during employee training opportunities as often as possible. Addressing near misses with the same weight as other accidents will help to change safety behaviors throughout the facility’s processes.

Don’t Miss on Company Culture

Another key to encouraging reporting is to promote a culture in which the positives of near miss reporting programs are regularly discussed. These positives should be frequently communicated by showing employees the changes that have been made due to near-miss documentation and analysis.

For example, implementing safety equipment at potentially hazardous facility areas can reduce the number of near misses. Safety barriers, both at the loading dock and throughout the interior of a facility, can physically separate and protect employees from dangerous drop-offs or heavy equipment hazards. Additionally, high-traffic, in-plant intersections are epicenters for near misses or serious collisions. Many facility managers are implementing ceiling mounted traffic sensors at these congested, blind corners. Rite-Hite’s Safe-T-Signal displays visual warnings to communicate with oncoming traffic from multiple directions to reduce the number of dangerous incidents.

Employees should also be incentivized for reporting any near miss incidents they are personally involved with or observe. Without incentives, employees may be reluctant to report these errors, leading to a potentially dangerous cycle: continuous, unreported near misses that eventually result in a far worse accident.

Utilize IIoT Software Systems

Aside from human reporting, safety-minded companies are increasingly turning to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology to track near misses. The Opti-Vu IIoT platform by Rite-Hite can help capture and analyze near miss data, identify trends, correlate those trends with historical data and better determine when, where, why and how potential accidents can occur throughout a facility. Ultimately, the Opti-Vu platform can help facility safety personnel make data-driven decisions leading to behavioral and process improvements, possible floor plan changes and work flow modifications designed to prevent accidents (and near misses) from ever happening again.

Contact Us for Recommendations on How to Improve Safety at Your Facility

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