Near-miss incidents may not result in an injury, but they are important and valuable events nonetheless.

As we all know, close calls or “near misses” are situations in which a worker has a narrow escape from getting hurt. The worker probably feels lucky about getting away uninjured, but if we pay attention, these incidents may be lucky in another way. Near misses often give us a preview of an injury that could potentially happen so measures can be taken to prevent it.

However, ignoring a close call means you could be paving the way for a serious injury to happen, if not to you then one of your coworkers. If there is a decline in near-miss reporting, does this mean that employees aren’t having any close calls? Or is this an indicator that we are becoming complacent?

We can’t allow ourselves to become complacent about near-miss reporting. All near misses should be investigated to find the root cause, and the hazard removed before an injury does occur. For every reported first aid or minor injury, it is very likely near misses may have occurred with very similar circumstances that have gone unreported.

The same things that cause accidents also cause near misses. If you have a near miss, consider yourself lucky on two counts: first, you didn’t get hurt, and second, you now have the chance to prevent a future accident for yourself or someone else.

Near-misses are a warning. Letting near-misses go unreported provides a perfect opportunity for a serious accident to occur. Correcting these actions or conditions will enhance the safety within your facility and provide a better working environment for everyone involved. Report all those near-misses!


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.