On our most recent webinar, we spoke with Christian Harris & Peter Jenkins about how AI can help maximise near-miss reporting in your organisation. All of the panelists shared their expertise on the subject matter and provided diverse viewpoints on the key findings. Check out some of the key points discussed below:
Underreporting of near-misses and why?
The conversation starts off with the topic of near misses and reporting in organizations. Dan conducts a poll and found that 83% of the attendees believe that near misses go unreported in their organisations, which seems surprising given the importance of identifying and addressing potential safety hazards. Christian responds that he is both surprised and not surprised, as underreporting of near misses is a common issue in safety, but he is glad to see that there is an awareness of the issue. Peter agrees that it is not surprising, but he is a little surprised at the high ratio among attendees from all over the world. He notes that near miss reporting is often an elephant in the room and that it can be challenging to track and identify unsafe conditions. The conversation then shifts to discussing safety culture in organisations and the barriers to reporting near misses. Peter emphasises the importance of building trust, communication, feedback, and training in creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting safety hazards without fear of victimisation or negative consequences. He stresses that it is not enough for companies to say they will protect employees who report near misses, but they must follow through with actions that demonstrate they take safety seriously. Christian agrees and adds that sometimes people do not report near misses because they feel that nothing will come of it, so it is essential to establish a culture of accountability and improvement. Peter notes that changing the mindset around near misses takes time and is more than just implementing a reporting process. He suggests that organisations should view near misses as opportunities for improvement rather than catching people out.
Using technology to report near-misses.
The panel delves into a discussion on the application of technology and tools in reporting near misses. In an effort to gain insights on the use of online tools for reporting near misses, a poll is conducted among the attendees, revealing a split of approximately 52/48 in responses. Christian and Peter concur that any tool that can facilitate the process and enhance its definition should be perceived positively. They emphasize that streamlining the process would enable safety professionals to shift their focus from mere compliance to the strategic side of safety. Peter recommends taking a customer-based approach to safety and considering the demographics of the workers when choosing the appropriate tool. During the discussion, the panel explores potential concerns about the accessibility of technology to workers who may not have access to smartphones or tablets. Nonetheless, they acknowledge the numerous advantages of leveraging AI, such as enhancing the reporting process and providing real-time alerts and notifications to both workers and supervisors. Dan further expounds on the role of AI in near miss reporting, emphasizing how Protex AI employs computer vision to detect behavior trends that could lead to accidents. This approach enables a deeper comprehension of near-miss events, aiding in the identification of root causes and the development and implementation of corrective action plans and training programs.
The benefits of AI in near-miss reporting
Dan mentions the Heinrich Triangle, also known as the Bird Triangle or the Sift Triangle in the US. This is a controversial concept that posits that there are precursors to significant incidents or fatalities that can be identified early on and stopped before they lead to accidents. Dan conducts a poll to see if the attendees think this concept is viable or impractical. Christian then discusses an example from the National Gallery in London where the Health and Safety Executive used video cameras to monitor the entrances and exits of the building. The footage showed that there were significantly more near misses than actual incidents reported, highlighting the importance of near miss reporting in preventing accidents. Peter went on to discuss the concept of knowns and unknowns in health and safety and how AI can be used to identify unknowns and near misses that may not have been reported otherwise. They emphasize that AI is a tool, not a replacement for human decision-making, and that it can be used to complement existing health and safety processes. Overall, both Christian & Peter see great potential in the use of AI in health and safety to identify and prevent accidents before they happen.