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What is a Near Miss?

A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage; but had the potential to do so. 

What can cause a Near Miss? 

Near misses are caused by the same kinds of workplace hazards that cause actual accidents: Unsafe conditions, and/or unsafe acts.

Mistakes people make and the risks they take cause most safety problems. That means you and your employees have the power to prevent a near miss from occurring.  

Even hazards that do not seem too important, like a spill on the floor or a rope left on a wharf, could result in an accident or injury. Do not ignore them! 


If you have a near miss:

  • Take every near miss as seriously as if it were an actual accident.

  • Do not be afraid that you will be penalized for the incident. If you know there is a hazard, make sure everyone else knows.

  • Report it to your supervisor immediately. The sooner you report a safety problem, the sooner it can be fixed.


Help prevent near misses by: 

  • Keeping alert for hazards while you work.

  • Follow safety rules and wear required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

  • Report any hazards you see anywhere in the workplace to the appropriate person.

  • If you can do so safely, remove the hazard but still report it.

  • Participate in safety training.

  • Keep your work area clean, neat, and safe.

  • Speak up if you see a coworkers taking risks; do not accept unsafe behavior.

  • Make safety your priority every workday!

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Causes of a Near Miss or Accident

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