Notifiable IncidentsWe all know incidents should be reported and recorded. OHS legislation in every state has requirements for alerting the regulator when ‘Notifiable Incidents’ have occurred.
Civil Action Accurate and timely reporting and recording of incidents can also be useful in potential claims management, where incidents are potentially serious enough that they may result in civil action against your organisation. Where serious incidents do occur, it is a good idea to call your legal counsel before conducting an internal investigation, as they can advise as to how best utilise ‘legal privilege’ when documenting causes of such incidents.
Near Misses It is also useful to document near misses. Near misses can be a very good indicator of the potential for more serious accidents before they occur. Following research conducted into industrial accidents in the 60’s and 70’s by the ‘father’ of Loss Control, Dr Frank Bird; a ratio was developed that is now well regarded in safety risk circles. It is known as:
It suggests that for every serious incident, injury or fatality; there are 10 minor incidents, 30 property cases of property damage or loss, and 600 near misses. If your event, venue or organisation has experienced a serious incident in the last year, multiply that number by 600. This will give you a rough idea of the number of near misses that may have occurred over the same period. Then check that number against the number of near misses that were actually recorded. If it is significantly lower, then the chances are that there is allot that is going on that is unreported.