Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance (Best Practice)

RT-301 Topic Summary
RT 301


This research is very relevant to the construction industry safety programming. In fact the methodology to develop a near miss reporting program can be applied to any industry that is interested in improved safety performance. This topic covered leadership commitment, employee engagement, and EHS personnel involvement. The required steps of how to implement and sustain an effective near miss reporting program are included in the project. Enabling electronic reporting tools to implement and maintain are also included.

The key objective of this research is: “How can near miss reporting be used as a tool to help project teams identify gaps, learn from the events, and significantly improve safety performance?”

The research also identified three key points that must be emphasized for successful program implementation:

  1. A project’s near miss program must receive unwavering support from all levels of management, both from the owner and the contractor.
  2. This support must include the resources necessary to implement and manage the program.
  3. The intent and benefits of the program, the reporting methods, and the expected feedback on a reported near miss must all be clearly communicated to all project personnel.

Near miss reporting was found to lower the OSHA TRIR, increase communication and trust about safety for construction site personnel, and further enable workers to identify hazardous conditions and unsafe worker behavior.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Near Miss Reporting Cycle

The report has developed a comprehensive Near Miss reporting program that includes definition of a near miss, a reporting strategy, and a recommended process for reporting near misses, identifying causes, implementing corrective actions, and sustaining the program overall. (IR301-2, p. 3)
Reference: (IR301-2)

2 : Near Miss Reporting Card

A near miss reporting card, both hard copy and electronic, has been developed to make reporting accessible and easy to understand. (IR301-2, p. 7)
Reference: (IR301-2)

3 : Near Miss Reporting Database

A near miss reporting database where the initial entry contains the same information as the reporting card for consistent entry of information when reporting. The database provides basic reporting on the status of each of the near misses and allows the reporter to track overall the number of near misses in each phase of the process. Link to Tool (RS301-1, p. 10)
Reference: (RS301-1)

4 : Near Miss Reporting Employee Training

This report identifies a process for ensuring near miss reporting process is initiated and implemented by training every employee, manager, and contractor working on site as to the definition of a near miss and basic hazard identification. (IR301-2, p. 5)
Reference: (IR301-2)

5 : Near Miss Reporting Enablers

Communication was cited as the greatest enabler. The report recognized that feedback to the near miss reporter and other workers is a key enabler to success in the program. (RS301-1, p. 15)
Reference: (RS301-1)

6 : Near Miss Reporting Barriers

One major barrier that was identified is that some workers are afraid of retaliation if they report near misses.  Management needs to openly commit to ensuring this program was about injury prevention and not headcount reduction. (RS301-1, p. 15)
Reference: (RS301-1)

7 : Identifying Hazards

Identifying, reporting, and analyzing near misses enhance an employee or contractors ability to identify hazards.  (RS301-1, p. 17)
Reference: (RS301-1)

8 : Implementation Tool #1

IR301-2, Near Miss Reporting Database Tool

The tool provides Guidelines for Implementing a Near Miss Reporting Program that includes:

  • An implementation and continuous monitoring cycle (Near Miss Reporting Cycle)
  • A Near Miss reporting card
  • A database for entering the near misses
  • Near miss reporting evaluation tool
Reference: (IR301-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved safety, Lower OSHA TRIR rates, Near miss reporting program, Lagging indicators on number of fatalities, Lost time incidents, Medical treatment cases reported

Research Publications

Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance - RR301-11

Publication Date: 10/2014 Type: Research Report Pages: 64 Status: Reference

Near Miss Reporting Database Tool - IR301-2

Publication Date: 10/2014 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 22 Status: Tool

Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance - RS301-1

Publication Date: 09/2014 Type: Research Summary Pages: 18 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance

Publication Date: 09/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 31 Event Code: PIW914

Plenary Session - Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance (Best Practice)

Publication Date: 08/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 14 Event Code: AC14

Implementation Session - Using Near Miss Reporting to Enhance Safety Performance (Best Practice)

Publication Date: 08/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 31 Event Code: AC14