A Comprehensive Guide to Near-Miss Reporting


The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council emphasizes the critical importance of near-miss reporting (NMR) in preventing workplace accidents and ensuring the safety and well-being of workers. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of near misses, their significance, key components of near-miss reporting, strategies to encourage reporting, and references for further exploration. 

What is a Near-Miss? 

A near-miss is an incident where no injury or ill-health occurs but has the potential to do so. It serves as a warning sign, indicating underlying hazards that need to be addressed to prevent future accidents. Near-misses are not industry-specific and can occur in any workplace, making them valuable opportunities for proactive intervention. 

Why Should We Track Near-Misses? 

Tracking near-misses is essential for several reasons:  Near-misses are early indicators of potential accidents, allowing companies to intervene before incidents escalate.  They provide zero-cost lessons, enabling organizations to learn from mistakes and improve workplace safety.  Near-miss reporting fosters a culture of safety and empowers workers to actively participate in hazard identification and mitigation.  By addressing near-misses, companies can prevent costly accidents, injuries, and operational disruptions. 

Key Components in Near-Miss Reporting: 

The NMR system comprises five key components:

  • Identify: Train workers to recognize near-miss incidents through site walkabouts and risk assessments. 
  • Report: Simplify the reporting process to encourage timely and accurate submission of near-miss reports.  
  • Investigate: Probe into potential consequences of near-misses and initiate investigations to identify root causes.  
  • Intervene: Implement immediate and long-term interventions based on investigation findings to mitigate risks.  
  • Review: Regularly analyze near-miss data to identify trends and evaluate overall WSH performance. 

How do we Encourage Near-Miss Reporting? 

Encouraging near-miss reporting requires creating a supportive environment where workers feel empowered to voice concerns without fear of reprisal. Strategies include:  

  • Establishing a strong reporting culture from top management down.  
  • Providing training on NMR and integrating it into job scopes.  
  • Avoiding quotas that may compromise report quality and authenticity.  
  • Ensuring clear communication, transparency, and feedback mechanisms. 

Enhancing Near-Miss Reporting Practices for Improved Workplace Safety 

Near-miss incidents, often overlooked, serve as early warnings of potential hazards, prompting proactive measures to prevent accidents. By integrating near-miss reporting into safety management systems, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, and leveraging technology for streamlined processes, organizations can harness the full potential of near-miss data to enhance safety performance. Collaboration, training programs, and leadership commitment are emphasized as crucial elements in driving employee engagement and ensuring regulatory compliance. Through these concerted efforts, companies can establish robust near-miss reporting systems that not only mitigate risks but also cultivate a culture of safety excellence. 


Near-miss reporting is a proactive approach to enhancing workplace safety and health. By recognizing the significance of near-misses, implementing robust reporting systems, and fostering a culture of safety, organizations can prevent accidents, protect workers, and improve overall WSH performance. This guide draws upon industry standards, guidelines, and resources provided by the Workplace Safety and Health Council, Ministry of Manpower, and other relevant authorities. It also references scholarly works and publications on near-miss reporting and safety management. 

References: https://www.tal.sg/wshc/-/media/tal/wshc/resources/publications/guides-andhandbooks/files/guide-to-near-miss-reporting.ashx

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