How many times have you narrowly avoided slipping on a wet floor?
At the worksite, this is referred to as a near miss. In simple terms, a near miss is an unexpected event that did not cause any harm, injury, or damage but had the potential to.
The concept of near misses gained traction in the 20th Century because of the Accident Triangle, a theory proposed by Herbert W. Heinrich and later expanded on by the research of Frank E. Bird, who studied a total of 1.7 million accident reports from 297 companies. This extensive research revealed that for every 600 near misses, there is an estimation of 30 minor injuries, 10 severe injuries, and 1 fatality.
This finding revolutionised how companies viewed worksite safety. The idea that reducing near misses could potentially lead to a fall in the number of serious accidents encouraged organisations to build more reliable reporting systems to record and address near miss incidents.
As part of those efforts, the SOL-X IIoT industrial safety solution strives to create safer worksites by ensuring that workers, particularly those in the oil and gas and maritime industries, have access to better systems to report and prevent near misses. By reducing the potential for injuries or fatalities wherever possible, our solution stands at the forefront of protection for hazardous worksites.
What Should We Pay Attention to Near Misses?
Near misses are unintentional or unexpected incidents that could have caused minor or severe injuries, or even death, but were narrowly avoided. A near miss could occur due to human error or inadequate safety systems or procedures. Near misses should not be confused with an incident or hazard. A hazard is any potential for harm to a person, equipment, or property, and an incident occurs when there is an unplanned event that results in injury, damage, or death. On the other hand, a near miss describes an unplanned event that had the potential to cause injury, illness or damage but did not do so.
Although near misses are not positive experiences, they are important learning opportunities. Hearing about your co-worker’s experience can provide insight that makes you even more aware of your surroundings. Additionally, reporting them can potentially lead to improvements in safety procedures.
However, America’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that half of the serious workplace injuries are still unreported. Additionally, for 62% of worksite incidents, OSHA responded by “asking employers to conduct their own incident investigations and propose remedies to prevent future injuries.”
With workers choosing not to report even severe injuries, the likelihood of them reporting a near miss is even lower. Furthermore, relevant authorities might not step in to inspect worksite incidents. These factors make it even more important for employers to find better solutions to identify near misses and eliminate risks.
How SOL-X IIoT Solutions Actively Prevent Near Misses
01. Increases Worksite Visibility
The SOL-X Control Of Work system improves workflow management with a smart worksite-connected platform with live dashboards that allow for worksite visibility for workers and supervisors.
With a digitalised Control Of Work, users can track high-risk activities alongside peripheral information (including workers, location, and time) which offers an added layer of security of who, what, where and when knowledge, giving managers access to behaviour-based safety information.
Additionally, with the benefit of gaining situation awareness through the SOL-X Control Of Work system, superiors can take immediate corrective action when reviewing the present situation or upcoming trends.
Using near real-time monitoring of operations and having a holistic overview of the worksite to increase situational awareness not only prevents near misses, but may also motivate the worker to feel more accountable and engaged throughout the process.
02.Analyses Workers’ Well Being
By conducting regular reports of workers’ well-being, your organisation can uncover high-risk activities and health data that were previously unknown.
Using the well-being data, companies can implement targeted control measures, such as training and equipping specific workers for heat stress management and hearing conservation. They can easily identify high hazard zones that require infrastructural improvements and improve the efficacy of worker well-being programmes using near real-time feedback.
To gather such data, the SOL-X Crew Protect leverages digital technologies, such as AI, big data, cloud computing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in day-to-day hazardous work operations. These technologies will deliver actionable insights to the organisation on how to improve the situational awareness of workers.
As part of the Crew Protect system, the SOL-X SmartWatch provides workers with important information and data regarding their working conditions, such as risk exposure times and other potential work-related dangers.
The features on the SmartWatch include timely reminders to stay hydrated when in high-risk environments so that workers can better manage heat stress symptoms. On top of that, it detects heart rate trends which gives insights into where physically demanding activities are being performed and who is performing them.
The wearable also tracks Work Rest Hours which provides rich analytics about rest periods for better workload management. All this information can help to better monitor workers’ health and prevent near misses.
For any high-risk work in hazardous environments, on-site checklists and cumbersome paperwork are part and parcel of the job. The hassle of taking these steps onsite may at times disincentivise workers from following safety processes. Workers may end up taking shortcuts to complete tasks which increases the risk of non-compliance and near misses.
But with digital IIoT solutions, like the SOL-X Control Of Work system, workers no longer have to rely on inefficient manual and paper-based systems. These digital solutions are fully integrated, easy to use, and encourage workers to follow the correct procedures.
In addition, with end-to-end mobile systems that provide near real-time line of sight into ongoing safety operations, the SOL-X Control Of Work system further assures workers and onshore teams that safety processes are being followed throughout the worksite.
These digitalised systems and visibility of ongoing safety operations encourage positive worker behaviour change, improve procedural compliance for high-hazard work, and can ultimately reduce the instances of near misses.
Prevent Near Miss Incidents with SOL-X solutions
When human lives are at stake, companies have a responsibility to their workers to implement comprehensive safety protocols. With the latest IIoT technology by SOL-X, companies can establish a proactive safety culture and empower workers with solutions that ensure no near miss goes unnoticed or uncorrected, thereby enhancing the safety and well-being of their workers.