Increasing near miss reporting

2 min read: A new section leader at a manufacturing plant was looking for ways to increase the number of near misses his team was reporting. His section had reported an average of less than 2 near misses per month, and he knew that they were missing some important data.

He set out to find out why people didn’t want to take the time to submit the reports, and quickly found that everyone had the same reply: nothing had ever happened as a result of submitting the reports. It was a case of extreme extinction – there was no confirmation e-mail that the report had been entered, no follow up from safety or leadership, no visible changes on the work floor, nothing.

The section leader got his team together and promised to personally review each and every near miss that they submitted within 2 days, and to follow up with them on anything that was being done as a result. As near misses came in, the section lead personally thanked each person and kept his promise to follow up with them (even when there was nothing that could be done).

Within the first month, 11 near misses were reported, with 14 reported the following month. His team reported feeling like the system finally felt useful, and the section lead was satisfied knowing he was able to make some meaningful safety improvements for his team.