How to Make Near Miss Reporting Happen

1) What is a Near Miss?

A Near Miss is an unplanned, narrowly avoided collision or other incident/accident – no one got hurt.

As a Near Miss is an occurrence that was not an ‘incident’ or ‘accident’, it is also not a ‘hazard’. For context, we created the below, very basic ‘Risk Spectrum’.


The above ‘Risk Spectrum' is something simple we created to help people understand the definition of a Near Miss. Feel free to shar eyour thoughts either as comment on this blog, or in the comments of this LinkedIN post.


2) How to Make Near Miss Reporting Happen

Having created a unified understanding of what a Near Miss is, the biggest challenge for most is getting people to report them! Here are some tips on how to meet that challenge:

i) Reminders

Reporting a Near Miss is first, about making people mindful to look out for them, and identify when one happens. As well as reminding staff and crew members in safety talks and regular meetings of the importance of reporting Near Misses, it's also important to make this requirement visible. Simple signage, banners, stickers etc. that are displayed where people see them during their working day, acts as a reminder to report a Near Miss. It’s also a great idea to display a Safety Heat Map of where Near Misses have taken place too. 

Reach out to SG World USA to get started with your ‘visual workplace’


ii) Make It Easy

If you ask people to complete a full report, or even have to go and get a Near Miss Report form from an office, you are discouraging them from reporting Near Misses.

Making it easy for people to report a Near Misses is key. It’s important to focus on capturing only the essential information and try not to ask them the write a lot of content too. You can always circle back and ask questions later, the key is to capture something in the first place

SG World USA’s Pocket Near Miss Report. Book is ideal for this and can also be stored around a work site as well as in your pocket!


iii) Do it WITH People and not TO them.

A simple idea on this is demonstrate their efforts have been worth while. For example, install a large Safety Heat Map Board on the wall. Have it printed with a map of your location and every time a Near Miss is reported, identify it on the Safety Heat Map Board.

This is an immediate action you can take, for all to see, showing your people that you appreciate the effort that was made in reporting a Near Miss. That of course is not to mention the incredible benefit you'll get when planning, and understanding, what's required to deliver safety success in this area. It’s also great tool for new hire and contractor orientation, as well as a basis for trainings and tool box talks!

Another immediate, and SMALL action that carry's a BIG impact is a raffle...

Using SG World USA’s Pocket Near Miss Report Book with carbon copies, allows you to get everyone together periodaily and do a drawing. You'll simply take all the carbon copy near miss reports, put them in a hat, and give free stuff to the names that come out the hat! The drawing itself is a lot of fun for everyone and really does engage them in reporting Near Misses!


iv) Take Corrective Action

We encourage you not to correct people that aren't reporting Near Misses - instead, celebrate those who are. When we talk about taking corrective action, we are talking about the cause of the Near Miss.

Of course it’s important to engineer out the risk of the Near Miss happening again or becoming an accident next time. It is equally as important to communicate what corrective action you have taken, and link it back to the person(s) that reported it originally. Maybe consider sharing that communication publically, perhaps at your monthly drawings mentioned above? It promises to make your people feel empowered and engaged in the culture you are building.


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