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Close Call Reporting (CCR) Quiz

Creating a Learning Culture to Prevent SIFs 


Created By Dr. Josh Williams | Powered By Populo Consulting

Does your organization reinforce a culture of reporting or is there some fear (or hassle) associated with close call events? The answer to that question is a great litmus test for your overall safe production culture. OSHA and the National Safety Council define a near miss as “An unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so.”(1) For instance, skidding off the side of the road in icy conditions is a close call. Slamming into a tree after doing so is an incident. The purpose of reporting close calls (and minor injuries) is to promote a learning culture and avoid serious injuries in the future. Unfortunately, close call reporting is driven underground when there’s any apprehension about reporting. 

Organizations with a strong safety culture avidly support reporting near misses to prevent future and more serious reoccurrences. Some even provide small, safety based awards/recognition to support a culture of reporting. Company leaders should follow these guidelines with close call processes:

  • Keep the reporting process as simple as possible.
  • Create a learning environment to openly discuss the details of near hits.
  • Share close call information with all employees to raise situational awareness.
  • Prioritize and address close calls depending on the severity and likelihood of incidents occurring. (2)
  • Use close call information to identify system weaknesses and failures. (3)
  • Identify solutions (e.g., facility improvements, training) for close calls with input from employees when appropriate.
  • Advertise these improvements with all employees to demonstrate organizational commitment to safety and boost morale.
  • Consider using near miss data in predictive models to prevent future incidents. (4)

Bottom Line: Near hits are teachable moments that help keep people safe because a) employees are made aware of and learn from potential hazards and b) organizational leaders receive information they need to make system improvements. Close call reporting, when done correctly, is a powerful tool to improve safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities.

How well does your organization manage close call reporting? Take the following quiz and find out.

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Meet The Expert

Dr. Josh Williams

Dr. Josh Williams

Partner, Propulo Consulting

Dr. Josh Williams is a Partner with Propulo Consulting, a global management consulting firm delivering significant and sustainable improvements in organizational performance. For over 20 years Josh has partnered with clients around the world to drive increased discretionary effort and improved strategic execution. He’s the author of Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention and received the Cambridge Center National First Prize for his research on behavioral safety feedback.

Meet the Expert

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1. Morrison, K. W. (2014). Reporting near misses: Why are they important, and how can safety pros get employees involved? Safety and Health Magazine online. 

2. Howard, K. (2012). Everybody gets to go home in one piece: How reporting close calls can prevent future incidents. Safety and Health Magazine online. 

3. United States Federal Railroad Commission (2002). Improving railroad safety through understanding close calls.

4. Pettinger, C. (2013). Are near misses leading or lagging indicators? Safety and Health Magazine online.