Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Near-miss reporting might limit workplace accidents

Not all employers in California recognize the importance of near-miss reporting. Near-misses are those incidents that could have resulted in serious workplace accidents but did not. Some see them as valuable wake-up calls to hazards that might have tragic consequences the next time they happen. It provides the opportunity to establish preventative measures to make sure there is no next time.

Employers who encourage near-miss reporting might find that it helps to maintain an effective safety culture. Workers must be encouraged to look out for near-misses, and they must not fear reprisal if they report these incidents. Some businesses allow anonymous reports to be filed. If affirmative action is taken to mitigate the hazards that led to near-miss incidents, workers will see that reporting them can protect them from suffering injuries.

Some business owners have found the process of near-miss reporting even more efficient if they involve the workers in establishing remedies to eliminate the dangers that they identified. If employees are part of the process to communicate and analyze the hazard along with determining corrective action, the process of implementing safety measures could be less complicated. Enforcement might not even be necessary after such collaboration.

While some workers might be fortunate to work with employers who prioritize employee safety, others might be victims of workplace accidents that could have been prevented by addressing near-misses appropriately. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program will have the backs of injured workers. An attorney who is experienced in navigating workers' compensation benefits claims can assist with the administrative and legal processes in pursuit of maximum benefits to which the injured worker is entitled.

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