IPAF Global Safety Report highlights the need for better “near miss” data
The annual survey conducted by the IPAF (International Powered Access Federation), which analyses the main causes of serious injuries and fatalities occurring when using powered access machines, highlights that more near miss data is needed to improve analysis and help reduce the most common types of serious accidents.
The IPAF’s Head of Safety & Technical, Brian Parker commented; “One thing that we all agree on is we must now focus on areas we know we need more data from; this means gathering more information about “near misses”. He continued; “near misses are important in understanding trends and preventing serious accidents in future”.
Although the report is specific to the use of powered access machines to conduct temporary work at height, the key principles raised are relevant across many industries and workplace environments. There are many examples that link effective hazard management, including “near miss” reporting with a reduction in the occurrence of accidents and incidents.
Effectively engaging employees to report near misses is a crucial factor in implementing a workplace hazard management strategy. Some basic tips to help you encourage employees to be proactive in near miss reporting include:
Improve the safety culture in your business, one of the most important aspects of any safety strategy is ensuring your people are comfortable in using their “safety voice”, and having a strong established safety culture within your business will help to ensure your employees buy-in to any new hazard reporting process.
Make the reporting process quick and simple, no one wants to go through a long and tedious process on top of their day-to-day work, simplifying the process will help to increase the conversion rate of reports. Using technology is key to this, ensuring that reporting platforms are mobile-friendly and work in offline situations – employees should be able to report a near miss as they observe it.
Ensure all employees know the near miss reporting process, health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of seniority or tenure therefore it is essential for everyone to be trained on the process and made aware of any changes. This includes contractors as well as employees.
Don’t trivialise near miss reports, some employees may question whether a near miss is “dangerous enough” to be worthy of recording and opt-out of submitting it believing it to be a waste of time.
Ensure reported near misses are acted upon and provide feedback to the reporter, by following up on the report, it will make an employee feel valued and provide a sense of accomplishment, improving the likelihood of them reporting again. On the other hand, ignoring a report may result in employees losing interest.
For more insights on why employees might avoid reporting near misses, click here.
The AssessNET Hazard reporting module includes “near miss” reporting functionality and when combined with the AssessNET Accident module provides a holistic and robust incident management system that allows employees to quickly report near misses whilst on the go, capturing key information and providing health and safety managers to make data-driven decisions and delegate remedial actions. Book a demonstration today