Near-Miss Management: Managing the Bottom of the Risk Pyramid

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Ulku Oktem, Rafael Wong, and Cigdem Oktem

Analyses of serious accidents reveal that prior to an accident, a number of related incidents occur with limited or no impact. Collectively, these incidents are called near-misses, close calls, near accidents or accident precursors. Near-misses are often indicators of system failures that can lead to serious outcomes. Therefore, a Near-Miss Management System (NMMS) can be a powerful tool to reduce risk and improve system reliability. The concept of a near-miss can be applied to almost any operation in any industry.

Although there is not a single, agreed-upon definition of a ‘near-miss’, for our discussions we will embrace the following broad definition: a near-miss is an event, observation, or situation that possesses the potential for improving a system’s safety and/or operability by reducing the risk of upsets, some of which may eventually cause serious damage.



Keywords: risk analysis, near-misses, early warnings, accident prevention