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Tyler & Associates, PC
Bettendorf, Iowa And Quad Cities Trial Attorney

A cat has 9 lives, but how many near misses can you survive?

How many times have you thanked your lucky stars when incidents that could have claimed your life only left you shaken? Workplaces in all industries in Iowa expose employees to safety hazards, and each company has safety protocols in place to address those dangers. However, it is an ongoing process that needs updating whenever a near-miss incident occurs.

A near miss is an unplanned event that does not cause injuries or death but has the potential to cause very serious repercussions. It could happen when you slip on icy stairs, and as you grab the railing to avoid falling, it breaks, and although you did not fall, you could have -- with devastating consequences. Another example is walking out of the warehouse and narrowly miss being run over by a company truck. Such incidents happen every day, and your employer can only address them if employees report near misses.

Reporting is crucial

The only way to prevent future similar but more serious incidents is by establishing a near-miss reporting procedure. Almost all severe and catastrophic workplace accidents happened after near misses occurred, which were either unreported or unaddressed. If you and your co-workers report near miss, regardless of how insignificant they might be, it could prevent more serious workplace accidents in the future.

Opportunity to promote a safety culture

Companies that have no procedures for workers to report near misses have a reactive safety management protocol by which action follows accidents that led to severe injuries or death. Encouraging near-miss reporting and immediate action to address hazards establishes a proactive program that provides the opportunity to prevent harm to employees and equipment. If your employer encourages workers to report near misses and provides an easy to use system that will allow anonymous reporting, you and your co-workers will face significantly fewer hazards.

Near misses evaluating safety efficiency

Near-miss reporting can identify any weaknesses in the overall safety program of the company. It is crucial for your employer to investigate all incidents to determine the cause and then finding solutions to prevent future episodes. Employees and employers play equally essential roles in this process. If you know that the only repercussion of reporting malfunctioning tools, broken ladder rungs, loose handrails and other matters will be improved safety, you may feel more encouraged to be part of the process.

Accidents might still occur

Although the proactive near-miss reporting might lessen the number of workplace hazards, accidents will probably continue to happen. If your workplace injury sends you to a hospital, it might help to know that the Iowa workers' compensation insurance system will assist with the medical expenses and lost wages. Further help is available from an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can fight to obtain the maximum benefits you deserve.

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