Monday, January 20, 2014

Enigma – Establishing an effective near-miss process

Near-miss reporting is a well-known practice in safety that seems simple and yet many organizations fail to sustain the process.  Near miss has such a simple path: you see something that is not correct, you fix the issue, you report the results, you get better.  Initially, near miss has hype in awareness and employee involvement, then all too soon the system languishes and another good safety concept that should help reduce injuries fails, and the organization regresses to a safety culture of reacting to injuries.
My experiences with effective near-miss processes are that they:
  • Deliver front line employee involvement in risk assessment and risk resolution which solves countless problems that could lead to injuries or operations difficulties
  • Break down barriers that exist between management and labor working together to solve a myriad of issues
  • Create a recognition system focused on eliminating upstream problems that deliver unwanted downstream incidents
These are all good outcomes that make the efforts needed to resolve near- miss system problems very worthwhile.  As with other fundamental safety processes that don’t seem to work well enough, there needs to be a desire to do the work necessary to fix the systemic difficulties.  A status quo culture goes nowhere; there is a need for enough dissatisfaction to begin the improvement process.  This is the purpose of the upcoming January 22 webinar on near- miss reporting.  The webinar will present both classical and novel information and solutions on:
  • What are good definitions of near miss that help move an organization forward?
  • Why is there such difficulty getting near- miss processes to work in the long-term?
  • How organizations have successfully solved these near- miss issues
  • What kind of reporting forms and solution processes have worked well in the field
  • Where and how does performance feedback fit in with near miss?
  • How does management engage with near miss?
The outcome of an hour long webinar is not the solution to delivering near- miss process excellence.  However, it is intended to be enough to help you and your organization understand how to emerge from near- miss status quo to a safety culture that identifies incorrect issues, fixes them and relentlessly moves on to a zero- incident safety culture.  Please join us for our January 22 webinar on near- miss reporting. Register at safety.cat.com/webinars.

The Doc 

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