UK: Field staff at Toshiba Air Conditioning are using a near-miss reporting tool on customer sites to improve site safety and reduce the risk of accidents.
A near-miss occurs when an unplanned event results in no injuries or damage, but has the potential to do so. Toshiba’s new online reporting tool provides instant data on issues as they happen, without relying on engineers returning to the office with paper forms, which can be time-consuming, involve delays, and make it difficult to spot patterns over time.
The new tool enables field staff to report incidents instantly by mobile phone or laptop onsite, in real time. Once logged, the near-miss is visible and traceable and requires action to be taken, including a thorough and timely investigation or escalation to superiors, if necessary.
“Toshiba takes health and safety at work very seriously, and it is a priority of the business to ensure best practice is followed at all times,” said Toshiba Air Conditioning’s UK MD David Dunn. “This tool makes the process of gathering and analysing data on near-miss incidents quick and easy. The goal is to build a database of potential hazardous situations and sites, and help identify any weaknesses in training. If a similar occurrence happens regularly, then we can create a tool-box talk to highlight the potential hazard and how to work safely.”
Toshiba’s near-miss reporting tool has been recognised by parent company United Technologies, winning the CCS International Trailblazer Award for its contribution to encouraging a safety culture within the organisation. The tool is now in use by all engineers and staff at Toshiba businesses in the UK.
If a problem site is identified, guidance can be provided with information on any potential dangers before an engineer attends. Customers will also be advised of any problems identified, with recommendations for and safety modifications/improvements that could be made.
“Reporting and analysis of near-misses is a key part of minimising risk and carrying out our duty of care to staff, customers and the public,” commented Carrier Group’s environment, health & safety manager Stephen Curl. “The new tool streamlines the whole process of reporting, analysing and following-up incidents, and is extremely valuable.”
He added: “We know that near-miss incidents often precede serious accidents, but may be overlooked as there’s no actual harm. The new Toshiba near-miss reporting tool enables our staff to report close calls, giving us the opportunity to follow up and prevent potentially serious incidents in future.”