Over the past few weeks, the Pacific Northwest has experienced a deluge of rain, even setting some records for daily rain fall and consecutive days with measurable rain. As you can imagine, the traffic has been dreadful with landslides, flooding and lots of standing water on the roads. As I was trying to make it to an appointment last week, I started to think about some of the near misses I have experienced driving in the rain and I used extra caution to make sure I was prepared for those situations.
Being aware of near misses is an important part of building a safety culture. Did you know that for every accident, there are upwards of 30 near misses? And research shows that if you identify and address those near misses, the number of accidents can be reduced.
So, here are some tips on how to address those near misses:
- Have each employee report a near miss at some specified frequency, maybe every week or every month. The reporting near misses will increase the employees awareness of looking for unsafe practices or situations.
- Offer incentives for employees who report near misses.
- Treat every near miss as you would an accident. That includes investigation, determination of root cause and implementation of appropriate controls.
- Share near misses and lessons learned with employees.
As you move into 2016, perhaps this is the year to implement some changes to your safety program. And what could be a better gift to your employees than the gift of safety?