Near miss (safety)

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"Close call" redirects here. For the 2002 film, see Close Call.

A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near. Although the label of 'human error' is commonly applied to an initiating event, a faulty process or system invariably permits or compounds the harm, and should be the focus of improvement. Other familiar terms for these events are "close call", or in the case of moving objects, "near collision", near hit or Gift.

Reporting, analysis and prevention[edit]

Most safety activities are reactive and not proactive. Many organizations wait for losses to occur before taking steps to prevent a recurrence. Near miss incidents often precede loss producing events but are largely ignored because nothing (no injury, damage or loss) happened. Employees are not enlightened to report these close calls as there has been no disruption or loss in the form of injuries or property damage. Thus, many opportunities to prevent the accidents that the organization has not yet had are lost. Recognizing and reporting near miss incidents can make a major difference to the safety of workers within organizations. History has shown repeatedly that most loss producing events (accidents) were preceded by warnings or near accidents, sometimes also called close calls, narrow escapes or near hits.[1]

Safety improvements by reports[edit]

Reporting of near misses by observers is an established error reduction technique in many industries and organizations:


Fire-rescue services[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ McKinnon, Ron C. Safety Management: Near Miss Identification, Recognition, and Investigation.
  2. ^ "Gains from Getting Near Misses Reported". Process Improvement Institute. 
  3. ^ "Gains from Getting Near Misses Reported". Process Improvement Institute. 
  4. ^ "Near-Miss Incident Reporting – It’s About Trust". CLMI Safety Training. 
  5. ^ Wald, Matthew L. (October 1, 2007). "Fatal Airplane Crashes Drop 65%". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Civil Aviation Authority: UK Airprox Board, Retrieved July 16, 2006
  8. ^ National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System ( FAQ Retrieved July 16, 2006
  9. ^ Mandak, Joe (September 18, 2005). "Database seeks to lower firefighter deaths". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-07-08. 
  10. ^ AORN: SafetyNet Retrieved on July 16, 2006
  11. ^ L. A. Lenert, MD, MS, H. Burstin, MD, MPH, L. Connell, MA, RN, J. Gosbee, MD, MS, and G. Phillips (1 January 2002). "Federal Patient Safety Initiatives Panel Summary". J Am Med Inform Assoc 9 (6 Suppl 1): s8–s10. doi:10.1197/jamia.M1217. PMC 419408. PMID 12386172. Retrieved 2006-06-28. 
  12. ^ AlmostME
  13. ^ CIRAS Charitable Trust CIRAS website, Retrieved December 20th, 2006

External links[edit]