Workers tend to avoid near miss reporting because of the time it takes to do the paper work. It’s an undoubted truth of the workplace.
But…by digitizing those forms for a mobile-ready solution, suddenly a time-consuming process on the job site becomes fast and easy.
The Near Miss Process – The Paper Based Process
When a worker has a near miss or observes one, they are suddenly burdened with a number of unforeseen tasks thrust into an already busy day. They may need to…
- leave the work area,
- find the forms,
- find a pen that works,
- document the near miss,
- and then walk the completed form back to where it needs to go (supervisor desk, safety officer, etc.)
This effort assumes the worker even knows the process, and there is always a good chance that they do not. Therefore, as often as not, the worker doesn’t report the near miss, and the day continues with that potential for injury intact. It introduces an opportunity for change that can make a tangible difference in field management. That opportunity is found by going digital with mobile phones or tablets on the job site.
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Near Miss Triangle – or – Heinrich’s Safety Triangle Theory
There is a theory for Industrial accident prevention called Heinrich’s Safety Triangle Theory, or The Accident Triangle. This theory has many versions over the years using different ratios and wording of the layers. Although the theory can become complicated, the main point it presents is clear…the less near misses that are present, the less of a chance for a serious incident or fatality in the workplace.
Broken down into its most simple form, the theory explains how little things that happen every day on worksites can grow into big things — such as major injuries, permanent disability, or death. In an effort to prevent the little things, such as removing or securing a hose that is continually tripped over by workers as it is laid across the ground, is in direct correlation to accident prevention. By acting on an insignificant near miss when you first see it, that action prevents little things from becoming bigger issues as it moves up the pyramid: Near Misses, Minor Injuries, Serious (Lost Time) Injuries, Disability, Death.
The Potential for a Safety Hazard is Exposed by Near Misses
Therefore, just because something didn’t happen doesn’t mean that everything is ok — in fact a near miss indicates the potential for a serious safety hazard. The best way to ensure the reduction of injuries is to reduce near misses and the hazards that may cause them. But without an accurate count of near misses this metric is difficult to assess.
Enter Mobile Forms
But now digital advancements have introduced the ability to enter the needed information into an app on a mobile phone or tablet and into a corresponding database. Suddenly, the realization for efficiency and simplicity is here. Using these mobile apps increases incident reporting and reduces the potential for serious incidents.
Workforce Compliance Safety has introduced such a tool — called WorkforceDocs.
These mobile solutions enable a worker to:
- quickly access your company’s near miss form,
- fill it in quickly and accurately,
- add a photo (a picture says a thousand words),
- submit the form information into a database,
- and with a click of a button they are able to sign off on the form and send to management.
As a final step, actions are documented and assigned. Doing so ensures that the near miss does not turn into a job site incident that would have otherwise been a prime opportunity for injury or worse.
WorkforceDocs software also includes a desktop portal, where administrators and management are able to quickly track near misses and follow up with any actions to ensure completion. Therefore field management key performance metrics will be front and center each time administrators or a supervisor logs into the portal.
Moving into a world of Simplicity and Efficiency
Near Miss Reporting is moving beyond the pen and paper process and into a world of simplicity and efficiency. By adopting these tools, the near miss becomes a non-event, and industrial accident prevention is better maintained by your workers.