Have you ever almost had an accident on your construction site workplace? Perhaps an incident or accident nearly or just slightly occurred, but did not end up with anyone being injured? What was your reaction to this? Did you say, “Whew that was a close one” and get back to work, or did you follow the safety and health in construction procedure for reporting the near miss?
A ‘near miss’ is an emergency, incident or accident that did not result in an injury. It might have been a dangerous occurrence, but luckily no one was hurt. However, these near misses should still be reported even if they did not result in an injury. Simply ignoring near miss incidents can increase your likelihood of another more dangerous incident happening in the future, this time with worse results. Here are a few reasons why you should report any safety and health in construction near misses:
Identifying Weaknesses in Procedures
Recording any construction near misses can help you to identify any weaknesses that might exist in your operational procedures. These might be very small weaknesses, or slight deviations that happen very infrequently. However, if they are left to persist they might have serious consequences in the future. If the situation happens more than once, there is a lot that you can learn from this pattern.
Spotting Gaps in Knowledge
When you examine the near miss situation and find out exactly what happened, you might find that the accident was due to a lack of safety and health in construction training or knowledge. Perhaps an employee was not aware of the correct procedure of doing something, or they had forgotten the regulations because their training was not refreshed recently. If you find that this is the case, you will know that you need to ensure that your employees have up to date health and safety training.
Warning Signs of Defective Equipment
Most types of equipment in the construction industry don’t just go from working perfectly to completely broken in one day; they usually wear down over time and experience a period of declining performance. A near miss accident that is pinpointed to a problem with equipment or machinery might be a warning sign that the machine is slowly falling into disrepair. This means that you should replace it or repair it before it completely fails, as the consequences of a full-blown breakdown could be much more serious.
These are just a few very important reasons why you should never ignore any near misses when it comes to safety and health in construction.
Safety and Health in Construction
In order to practice good safety and health in construction, all accidents and incidents should be reported and examined; even the ‘near misses’ that don’t result in injury.