Near Miss Reporting
A near miss is defined as an incident that could have resulted in injury, illness, or property damage, but didn't. OSHA doesn't require near miss reporting, but companies capturing that information can gain insight into potential problem areas. Training employees on the importance of reporting near misses not only will raise their awareness of potential hazards; it moves your safety program from a purely reactive mode toward a more proactive effort. Near misses are often a precursor to more serious incidents, and may be a warning that procedures and practices need to be examined.
The reporting and investigation of near misses can be instrumental in preventing injuries. Near misses are really a zero-cost learning opportunity, because it signals a potential problem without resulting in injury or loss. Consider implementing near miss reporting the next time you review your safety program, which you should do annually.
(Source: Safety Services Company)