One of the main features of managing safety on farms is the recording of “near misses” as the identification of a near miss and the implementation of a suitable management plan that is targeted at ensuring it is not a problem in the future is all about safety and protecting yourself and your staff. So what is a near miss? The simplest way to describe a “near miss” is perhaps recording a new hazard or a known hazard that is taken lightly.
A “near miss” is also the accident that does not result in injury and where you sit for half-an-hour thinking about what might have happened. The best way to record the “near miss” is in the work-place safety folder or just in a notebook, both ensuring the “near miss” is discussed at the next safety meeting. Some examples of near misses we have been aware of recent visits include:
1. The tractor that rolled and no-one was injured.
2. The quad bike that ran out of fuel going up a hill with a maximum load on the trailer – the operator had to wait for over two hours before being rescued. To get off could have caused injury to the operator and most certainly damage to the quad bike.
3. The finding of electric fence standards in the paddocks, hidden in the grass. Minor matter but one that could be serious if hit with a mower.
4. Being rolled in a stock race while treating cows. Minor bruising and soreness, but not worth a trip to the doctor.
5. Slime build-up in shaded areas in the cowshed over winter. The cleaning is put off until calving commences when you will be too busy to clean the concrete!!!
Some of the more serious “near misses” should be recorded to WorkSafe, but the most important thing is to act on the identified hazard or potential hazard.