Now that the holiday season is upon us, be sure to remind employees to take their time.  Rushing and taking short cuts can lead to incidents and accidents.  As part of the reminder, ensure everyone is aware of the need to report near misses, in an effort to prevent an incident or accident from occurring.

Incident forms can be used to report near misses, and the same basic information should be provided by the personnel involved.  Employees should be reminded that the details of the situation are requested to fully understand what created the near miss.  This information is then used to develop and implement corrective actions to prevent re-occurrence.

The description of what happened should be detailed enough that someone reading the incident report could visualize what happened.  This requires both general information, such as materials involved, equipment and engineering controls being utilized, and personal protective equipment being worn, as well as specific details such as the volume of materials involved, and a description of the manipulations being conducted when the incident occurred.  An explanation of why the near miss occurred and recommendations for how the near miss can be avoided in the future should be described in detail as well.  Suggestions for specific remedial measures to implement such as changes to work practices, additional personal protective equipment, engineering controls, increased containment, or modifications to spill procedures should be included.

Incident reports should be completed by stating the facts only.  The more detail provided on the incident report, the better equipped the personnel reviewing the incident reports will be to develop and implement measures to prevent re-occurrence.