Near Miss or Near Hit
One of the Great Misnomers of Nomenclature in Safety. A very difficult one for most organisations to get their heads around. Do we report, don’t we report, do we just ignore it? This article is probably the best I have ever seen on the subject and well worth a read.
As the Author says:
“Near miss” is one of the dumbest terms used in safety and in business and the use of it should be outlawed and any safety “professional” that uses it needs to have his/her tongue glued to his/her lips.
A “near miss” is actually a hit………”Oops, oh well we nearly missed you” …it can mean two different things. The term “near miss” creates a sense of comfort in the fact that nothing is really happening as long as we keep missing……..”If we missed him, what’s the big deal?”………It’s a psychological thing.
Now if “near miss” is changed to “near hit” a whole new meaning and emphasis comes out…….”We nearly hit a guy with a forklift”…….There is no half-‐way or misunderstanding here……..”WE NEARLY HIT…….!”
Getting employees to report Near Misses is a challenge. Employees often question the value of reporting what they’ve seen. Indeed, many fear that coming forward with a report will cause trouble and lead to punishment. However, I’ve found an effective technique to overcome reluctance:
Analogize Near Misses at work to incidents at home. Since many of our employees are parents -‐ and all of them were once children ‐ this casts the subject in a light to which they can more easily relate. Here’s how to use the technique.