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Safety observation v near miss

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Safety observation v near miss

Post by Safety » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:16 pm

Hi all, I need some some clarification.

We have accidents, near miss and safety observations.

whats the difference between a safety observation and a near miss ?
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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Coldrop » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:12 pm

A near miss is something that happened that could have resulted in damage or injury

An observation is something that has the potential to happen if left
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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Jonnie » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:32 pm

I just had two items qualified as near misses by our engineering management company.


Sub contractor (bearing in mind we are not in UK) using an extension lead without a plug. Spotted on an inspection by them, near miss, had we been in there first it would have been taken out of service. My mind 1 black mark on KPI, no positive reinforcement, no gain in safety culture. Potential without doubt to be a near miss but personally I would rather it became a matter of discussion and education than a negative.

Second, broken hose on a vaculift which would not have worked, again black mark but in my mind should have shown the benefits of inspections and the positive outcomes.

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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Keith1983 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:22 pm

There is always some difference in opinion on the terminology that can be used around H&S matters. Make sure you don't lose focus and make sure that they are all treated as an opportunity to make your workplace safer. This is what matters.
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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Macca86 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:56 pm

Near Miss - Lucky Escape, close call, that was close, nearly got me ...... as Coldrop described

Observation - Hazard Spotting / Unsafe condition e.g equipment, environment or working practices.

I tend to use Near Miss and Unsafe Condition

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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by dave247 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:23 am

I see a near miss/hazard as spotting something at the time it is seen by any member of the workforce, our safety observations are snapshots of a process watched by a supervisor noting the good and the bad.
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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by SafetySpecialistJJ » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:43 pm

These are all great opportunities to promote a safer work site by either learning or correcting at risk items or behaviors or promoting positives.

When looking from analytical perspective and to drive a culture that promotes behaviors, i certainly appreciate the delineation between Observations, Hazard Identification, and Near Misses.

Where Observations "Behavior Based Safety Observations" are focused on Behaviors and would require an observation of safe/unsafe behavior which includes an interaction between the observer and the individual being observed, to reinforce or correct the observed behavior. The observation must document both interaction and the reinforcement or correction of the observed behavior. When an at-risk behavior is observed the observer should really try to flesh out root cause (What drove the behavior)

Hazard ID would be your Hazard Spotting / Unsafe conditions e.g equipment, environment, etc.

Near Miss would be under the umbrella of an event
Event- An energy release that occurs that did, or had the potential to, result in an impact or loss. Therefore, an Event can be one of two Event types: incident or near miss

Incident- An unforeseen or undesired energy release that does result in an impact (i.e., a loss), which may include harm or damage to one or more of the following: people, property, environment, process, or a release.

Near Miss – An unforeseen or undesired energy release that had the potential to result in an impact (i.e., a loss), which may have included harm or damage, to one or more of the following: people, property, environment, process, or a release.

So the difference between a near miss and an observation is an
observation did not have any release of energy and is behavior based. (Hazard Identification is a potential for Hazard Release and is a condition (e.g. stored energy)
Near Miss- Had an unforeseen or undesired energy release (Event) that had the potential to result in an impact

I rambled a bit, but what can i say, i'm a safety guy j/k

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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Alexis » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:12 am

Hi SafetySpecialist33. :wave:

A very warm welcome to HSfB, even with all your ramblings. :lol: We love constructive (and even non constructive) ramblings. :lol: .salut

Good to have you aboard. :D

One word of warning though.............. hsfbaddict
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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by Andyblue » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:19 pm

Safety observations tend to be planned events - walking around and looking at the positives and negatives, with re-enforcing either way. So a safety obs could be to tell someone they did the task as expected - positive observation or challenge a lapse in a procedure albeit nothing went wrong, again dealing with a negative in a positive manner.

We could go out to the yard and conduct a 10 mins safety observation actively looking or we could go out into the yard to check a vehicle and whilst doing so we see a near miss.

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Re: Safety observation v near miss

Post by dave247 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:23 am

Pretty much what Andy said, it’s about behaviours, observe someone working and note the positives and opportunities for improvement but I always insist they focus on both the positives and negative and when debriefing the employee always starting with the positives.

I always get frustrated when people ignore the good stuff as it’s very engaging to be acknowledged and also reduces risk of confrontation
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