Near Miss Report Template

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The importance of safety in construction-related operations cannot be overstated. Construction projects and active work zones contain hazards that pose significant risks to the health of site personnel.

Heavy equipment, power tools, and dangerous conditions such as confined spaces and working on ladders are a part of the daily routine. So safety professionals must thoroughly manage, mitigate and measure risks.

Safety performance is also a key safety metric for measuring project success. A project cannot fully succeed with unsafe conditions, disregard for safe practices and preventable incidents. As a construction leader, you should create a safe environment for workers, clients, subcontractors, and other stakeholders.

An adage says if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it. So you need to record all the incidents, including near misses or close calls.

What Is a Near Miss?

A near miss can be described as an event or an occurrence that almost resulted in injury or property damage but luckily didn’t. This is the near miss definition OSHA uses to provide safety management guidance. A near miss is also known as a near accident, an injury-free event, or an accident precursor. Advanced safety management involves understanding the factors, errors, and oversights that result in incidents and accidents.

If you’re responsible for the safety of your organization’s operations, you have to document near accidents that could’ve resulted in injury, illness and damage. It would later help to understand the reasoning behind the unsafe conditions.

Why Is It Important To Record and Report Near Misses?

Near misses, especially repeated ones, provide critical information about shortcomings. They define areas for improvement to your risk management strategy.

Let’s explore one of the near miss examples, where you’re managing a road construction project. You’re following a traffic control plan to help drivers navigate safely through the work zone, but it only partially works. Despite the presence of barricades and signage, multiple drivers make a wrong turn into a closed-off area and find themselves in danger of colliding with heavy equipment and workers. Although a collision was avoided several times, documenting each near miss is crucial. Altogether, they make a compelling case for an adjustment to the traffic safety plan.

Moreover, reporting accident precursors goes beyond your internal company processes. Insurers understand the importance of near miss reporting and may lower insurance premiums. It applies to operators that have substantial safety programs to reduce the occurrence of accidents and incidents.

Reporting a near miss incident makes everyone aware of a problem to develop a solution collaboratively. And at the end of the day, business owners choose contractors with a strong track record for safety — especially those commissioning significant projects that serve the public.

Who Is Responsible for Near Misses?

The best safety management approach is one where everyone has a stake in crafting and implementing best practices. Near miss reporting should go far beyond the leadership team. Onsite personnel, office staff, and other partners also need to participate actively. It’s incumbent upon you to create an environment where all personnel takes ownership of site safety. If employees feel uncomfortable reporting near misses or other issues, you risk ignoring a problem until after an accident.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Employees have to report the details of an injury-free event and potential causes that can provide management insights. Managers should respond decisively to near misses by creating clear policies and procedures for close calls and communicating them to all staff.

If you’re also looking for how to report the events that already took place, you can refer to our Incident Report Template.

What Leads to Near Misses?

Proactively addressing a problem requires examining its root causes and conditions. All near misses are usually the result of one or more of the following:

  • Dangerous conditions
  • Unsafe practices and procedures
  • Human errors and oversight
  • Lack of operator training
  • Lack of safety awareness and training
  • Cutting corners
  • Poor communication
  • Malfunctioning or hazardous tools and equipment
  • Absence of a transparent system to report and record near misses

A complete safety program will address these issues, but the last point is vital. If employees can’t report injury-free incidents quickly and easily, they will naturally try to avoid documenting them. So a near miss reporting form is an essential part of your safety management approach.

How Do I Create a Near Miss Report?

One of the best ways to facilitate near miss reporting is using a standardized near miss form. Imagine having to create a report from scratch every time an almost-incident occurs.

Unified near miss form gives your team a quick and consistent way to record all the necessary details from a close call. An actual near miss report will vary depending on the type of industry and operations, but there are universal best practices you can follow:

  • Keep it simple: A streamlined, easy-to-complete form is a must. A report with too many fields is hard to complete. And as a result, it discourages your team from filling out the form for every single near miss incident that takes place.
  • Aim for speed: When it comes to monitoring site safety, time is of the essence. Your near miss form should be a quick form to complete. Think of 3 minutes or less for the average near miss incident. If it sounds impossibly fast, you can learn how Gewalt-Hamilton associates streamlined field mobile data collection using digital forms
  • Provide options for media: If a picture paints a thousand words, then a near miss reporting form should include space to add media files. These can be photos, videos, and audios, as applicable. Often, a witness can show what happened (or didn’t happen) visually better than they can describe it in writing.
  • Enable anonymous reporting: Employees should feel free to be open and honest about near misses. There should be an option for a worker to submit a report anonymously.
  • Facilitate access: The harder it is to retrieve a near miss form, the less likely your staff will complete them. Forms should be easy to access, especially in an active work zone.
  • Identify the cause(s): To correct the behaviors that lead to near misses you need to understand why the close calls took place. Was it due to faulty equipment? Then you can find our Preventive Maintenance Checklist handy. Did an operator need more training? See our Site Induction Checklist and leverage it for your needs then. And finally, provide an easy way for the observer to record these details.
  • Document the facts: Any near miss form should include details about location, time, date, and other critical information.

What Are the Advantages of a Digital Near Miss Report?

Although construction projects often involve paper safety documents and records, paper forms can be unwieldy and difficult to manage. Things are getting even worse for procedures that involve real-time reporting.

Mobile phones and tablets have recently brought construction operations to a new level. Supervisors and managers capture images and videos of site issues and project progress. Forepersons and resident engineers generate digital work reports and other forms and send them via digital project management systems.

An electronic near miss report can be automatically generated on a mobile device with date, time, and location, saving a lot of time in critical situations. Supporting files can be attached or linked to a report for later review by management. A reporting system can also notify leadership of the creation of a near miss report and route pertinent information immediately to all interested parties, including decision-makers not present on the job site.

How Can Fluix Help?

Fluix enables safety managers to measure, monitor and mitigate near misses for operations. The safety management software can be installed on iOS and Android devices, giving your team an easy way to report injury-free incidents.

The solution is cloud-based, with a real-time sync between the device and the company storage. Technicians can also use it offline if there are issues with the internet connection onsite. All the data will be synced once the connection is restored.

Fluix is used to generate much more than just near miss documentation. You can build custom safety forms, automate your workflows and get instant reporting all in one app.

See how Fluix enabled creating Safety Management System for Panorama Helicopters and made Preventive Maintenance Reporting 3.5x faster for ZITON.

Stop “Almost” From Becoming “Oops…”
Empower your team to report near misses easily
Analyze root causes of unsafe conditions and incidents
Identify and address safety issues effectively
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