What constitutes a near miss?
Below is the definition of a near miss by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
- A near miss is any incident, accident or emergency which did not result in an injury. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) have a specific definition of a “dangerous occurrence”. These are reportable in the same way as reportable accidents are. Details of the events that are reportable to the enforcing authorities can be found on the "RIDDOR – ‘What is reportable?’ page on the HSE RIDDOR website
- Recording non-reportable near misses is not a statutory requirement but doing so and using the information provided is good safety management practice as reviewing the report (at the time and/or periodically) may help to prevent a re-occurrence. Recording these near misses can also help identify any weaknesses in operational procedures as deviations from normal good practice may only happen infrequently but could have potentially high consequences. A review of near misses over time may reveal patterns from which lessons can be learned.
- Where a review of near miss information reveals that changes to ways of operating, risk assessments or safety management arrangements are needed, these changes should be put into effect.