Julie Leggin, Risk Management Consultant at BBSI Ontario
As a team, organizations can study near misses and accidents in order to prevent future injuries and recurring incidents. This keeps your employees healthy, your production up, and your claims costs down.
Employees need to understand the importance of communicating with a supervisor when an injury, illness, or near miss incident occurs.
What is an injury? An injury is damage or harm to the structure or function of a person’s body caused by an outside force resulting from an event in the work environment.
What is an illness? An illness is a disease or health disorder, sickness, or unhealthy condition. Some examples are skin diseases, respiratory conditions, poisoning, hearing loss, heat stress, or other conditions caused by exposure in the work environment.
What is a near miss? A near miss is an event that only by chance did not cause an injury or illness.
Why is reporting important? Hazardous conditions affect everyone in the workplace. If a condition or incident is ignored, not reported or corrected, then it can lead to serious consequences. An injury that is not treated immediately, may take longer to heal then if it was reported and tended to immediately.
Why don’t employees report hazards, near miss incidents, and injuries?
- Belief that it is not important to the organization , Fear of negative consequences to their employee status
- Fear of disciplinary action
- Fear of harassment by co-workers or supervisors
- Fear of termination
- Fear of embarrassment – the incident may have been caused by a short cut or bad decision
How to improve reporting?
- Establish policies and procedures for reporting. For example “ABC Company requires that ALL injuries be reported to your supervisor immediately (the same day, the same shift, same hour).” The supervisor must report the injury to management immediately too. This assures that employees may obtain medical treatment, if they need it. Management will also begin the injury investigation.
- INVESTIGATE ALL INJURIES. For example “OSHA requires ABC Company to investigate all injuries and put measures in place to prevent injuries.”
- Develop corrective actions and let employees know what actions were taken and why, if none let them know why
- Thank employees for reporting injuries, near misses and unsafe conditions.
- Discipline employees AND supervisors for failing to report injuries.
Use this topic at your next safety meeting!
Have more questions about reporting injuries? Contact your BBSI Ontario Risk Consultant today.