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Near Miss Report And Its Importance In Workplace Safety

Near Miss Report And Its Importance In Workplace Safety

Jan 26 2024 at 10:04

In a workplace environment, a near miss or a ‘close call’ is defined as an unplanned event that did not cause any injury or damage yet had the potential to do so. Near misses often identify a system weakness that could lead to disaster the next time it happens should it be left unaddressed. Essentially, near-miss incidents bring to light undiscovered opportunities to improve safety practices.


Near misses: why they happen and their importance

Near misses are most commonly caused by human error, but in certain cases, these close calls in the workplace could stem from a process or system error that has the potential to cause harm and thus warrants immediate attention. More importantly, near misses should be seen as a critical indication that there is much room for improvement in the current safety programmes and practices observed in the workplace or job site.


Roles and responsibilities

Employees and employers are responsible for identifying and reporting near-miss incidents and seeking improvements on potential hazards.


  • Employees

More often than not, employees are the ones who will witness firsthand or be directly involved in near-miss situations. As such, it falls on them to notify management about what happened and provide as much information as possible.


  • Employers

On the flip side, employers are responsible for establishing clear policies and procedures when it comes to reporting near misses and promoting a culture of speaking up about such incidents without fear of discipline. Lastly, they should provide near-miss training and educate all workers on its importance.


The importance of a near miss reporting policy


1. Mitigate risk to a minimum and preserve workplace safety

Reporting close calls improves a workplace’s safety programme and reminds all about the importance of continuing established safe practices. In addition, it reduces the overall tolerance for risk, enabling you to steer clear of unnecessary fines and avoid the need for higher insurance premiums.


2. Collect valuable data and allow information to be shared easily

Near-miss reporting can be a useful tool for identifying workplace hazards without incurring significant risk. The valuable data gathered from incident reports informs management about how to deal with the recent close call and how to prevent similar or associated potential hazards in the future. Lastly, having a culture that promotes near-miss reporting enables employers to easily communicate the causes, facts, and corrective actions to everyone regarding the incident so they know what to look out for.


3. Enables trend identification of workplace hazards

Near miss reporting allows management to gather a valuable collection of data that, over time, can reveal possible trends and potential risks and facilitate corrective action before an accident actually occurs.


4. Reduce complacency in the workplace

Having a near-miss reporting policy keeps employees and employers alike on their toes. This prevents everyone from being complacent by having all personnel constantly evaluate established processes and seek out any room for improvement.


5. Demonstrates the company’s commitment to safety

Near miss reporting signifies the commitment of a company’s upper management towards upholding a culture of safety, which should be promoted to employees without fear of being reprimanded or disciplined.



Preserving and enhancing safety in any workplace environment is an ongoing process, and there is rarely a point where the pre-existing rules and policies can account for every possible situation. Establishing a near-miss reporting culture is key to continually updating safety standards and stopping workplace injuries and equipment damage before they occur.

As an organisation that values the well-being and safety of professionals above all else, Wong Fong Academy (WFA) is committed to providing quality training that enhances workplace safety regardless of industry. From safe lifting operations to OFA training in Singapore, our workplace safety courses are guaranteed to always be current and vetted by the relevant regulatory bodies. Contact us today for more information on the courses we offer!