The Value Of Near-Miss Incident Reporting In Traffic Management Plans
Decades of research have shown us that the reporting of near-miss incidents on worksites is a critically important part of TMPs(traffic management plans) in NZ. But why does this specific reporting have such a priority rating? Today we look at the drivers behind this rating and an overview of incident reporting.
Why Is Near-Miss Reporting Important?
What the majority of site staff don’t realise is that near misses and less serious injuries should not be treated with a mere sigh of relief. They require systematic reporting and the reason why is because statistics have shown that they are the precursors to severe and fatal accidents.
Reporting all accidents will empower the safety officers to proactively protect everyone. Reporting is not blaming, it is a very important opportunity to review the causes and corrections.
What Is The Definition Of A Near-Miss?
A near-miss is a safety incident and all incidents need to be reported. Here are examples of incidents:
– An event or condition that is a significant threat to a person.
– An occurrence that disrupts work
– An event that causes any injury, whether it is physical or mental
You will notice that the first point does not mention injury, only a threat. A close call that could have ended in harm is an incident and needs to be reported. Companies find it difficult to galvanise staff into taking near misses seriously and report them. The impact of the lack of reporting should be explained to the teams in a bid to motivate them.
The Benefits Of Reporting Near Misses
Reporting, discussing and giving feedback to your team will add to the education of your staff on the knock-on effect of omitting to report.
- Instant action can be taken to raise safety levels. Management can activate additional safety processes, new equipment, PPE or other relevant interventions to improve working conditions.
- A culture of safety and communication is nurtured which historically reduces near misses as well.
- Safety measures can be improved and the more reporting that happens, the safer the workplace becomes. The team protects the team.
Reasons Why Staff Avoid Reporting
There are several reasons why staff do not what to report near misses even in a perfectly designed TMP in NZ
Humiliation – If management has a habit of humiliating or embarrassing staff that have near misses then staff will go out of their way to avoid reporting it.
Confusion – If the reporting system is highly complex and wastes a lot of time then staff will avoid reporting so that they don’t look stupid or to avoid wasting precious working hours.
Peer Pressure – If the team gets rewards for accident-free weeks or periods then someone involved in a near-miss will avoid reporting so that the team doesn’t suffer.
Macho Pride – Reporting near-misses may be seen as something a ‘wimp’ does. Macho guys don’t “hassle” with near misses, only life-threatening injuries.
Disinterested Management – If management doesn’t care about the improvement of safety processes then workers won’t bother reporting incidents.