Incident Investigation: The Value of Investigating Near Misses

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Incident investigation, as we have demonstrated elsewhere, is a powerful tool in reducing risk and preventing disasters. However, investigation of incidents or near misses without proper methodology and follow-up is not sufficient to reach process safety goals.

Is this accident unique, unprecedented or unforeseeable? Hardly.
Investigating near misses is a very powerful lever in an effective process management system. In addition to the relative ease in finding evidence and the increased willingness of witnesses to talk, there is another significant advantage to investigating near misses: they simply happen more often than major events. This means the opportunities for learning are numerous and at are available at little or no cost.
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