Mistake1: Judging an incident’s potential by the severity of the injury

Potential Management

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Mistake1: Judging an incident’s potential by the severity of the injury

Consider the following possible outcomes of a hammer falling from a height of 20 feet: The hammer lands on the steel decking about 5 feet away from workers in the area
The hammer strikes a worker with a glancing blow on the shoulder, causing a small bruise
The hammer strikes a worker at the base of the neck just below their hard hat and fractures their vertebrae
In many workplaces the first outcome might be recorded as a near miss, the second as a first aid and the third a medical case with lost time. The outcomes were significantly different, yet the outcome potential was exactly the same. In analyzing this scenario it becomes obvious that no matter the outcome this event needs to be fully investigated. Yet in many organizations the opposite occurs, where the outcome of the incident would determine the level of follow-up required. Then when it comes to reporting only the outcome would factor into the safety metrics.