Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

A Close Call!

Near-miss. Near-hit. Close call. Call it whatever you want: something happened; it wasn’t good; fortunately, nobody got hurt.
 
If ever you needed the perfect illustration of the phenomena, a video posted on one of the weather service websites is exactly what you’re looking for. A security camera in the back yard of a residence shows the homeowner making a beeline for the back door when high winds started kicking up. 
 

Not a moment too soon, as a tree limb came crashing down where the person was standing scant seconds before.
 

———

 
What separates a near-miss from a tragic event? Sometimes it’s nothing more than a few seconds or a few feet. 
 
If your goal is to go home alive and well at the end of every day, the lessons to be drawn from this illustration of a near-miss are as powerful as they are obvious:

  • We humans are hard targets to hit. A miss is more likely than a hit.
  • For most near-miss events, it’s not the least bit difficult to picture the same set of factors conspiring to have caused a very serious – even fatal – event. 
  • It makes just as much sense to dig into understanding the causes of a near-miss as an actual hit.
  • Thinking “Nobody got hurt, so that never happened” is not a good idea!!

 
Pay attention to the near-misses, and use them as the occasion to fix problems before somone gets hurt – not after!

Paul Balmert
January 2020

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