By Hannah Stewart
The success of near miss reporting relies on employee involvement, yet many organizations struggle to engage staff. Now, with 270 million employees gathered on a single app, we might just be looking at a better way to get everyone involved: Microsoft Teams.
Reporting near misses highlights gaps in the HSE program. History shows that serious incidents are almost always preceded by near misses or close calls—but did the HSE team hear about them?
Echoing this concern, the Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2021 revealed 63% of HSE respondents see frontline worker engagement as a priority. This requires asking: what stops workers reporting near misses, and what can organizations do about it?
The good news is, you’ve likely already got the foundation.
Barriers to near miss reporting
One of the biggest barriers to reporting near misses is difficulty. If it takes too much effort, chances are, workers will avoid it.
A second barrier is perceived low ROI. If employees don’t know or understand the gains, why would they bother?
Clearly, HSE event management software makes managing near misses easier. For example, digital forms can be short, use logic, and work on mobile phones to encourage reporting.
However, logging a near miss is not an everyday task, so these apps can quickly become unfamiliar to frontline workers and slip back behind the difficulty and lack of visibility barriers.
In other words, employees won’t always come to you. You must go to them.
How Microsoft Teams can help
Over 270 million people use Microsoft Teams. If you’re reading this that likely includes your organization, and you have a huge opportunity for HSE.
By putting the near miss form in Teams, businesses can eliminate difficulty: instead of logging into a separate system, employees can reach the near miss form immediately. No re-login, no unfamiliar interface.
For example, you could place your near miss form in several Teams locations to raise visibility:
- On the company homepage
- As an HSE team channel
- As a channel on every project team
Furthermore, Teams is a great place to share HSE data from Power BI. Presenting bite-size charts and graphs on a platform all staff regularly use helps to increase HSE buy-in by demonstrating how near miss data is used. It may also come as a surprise to many that near misses happen more often than they think.
However, out of the box, Teams is not built for HSE management. It lacks structured data, workflow, and the ability to properly manage CAPAs.
Therefore, enterprises need near miss reporting software that works on Teams.
Increasing near miss reporting in Teams
Disconnected IT is a longstanding headache for HSE. Not only can this negatively impact user adoption, it can also slow down process and introduce errors.
However, HSE software that integrates with Microsoft 365—the platform Teams is part of—can significantly improve employee engagement.
For example, LBC Tank Terminals, a global oil and gas logistics firm, increased near miss reporting by 370% through using Pro-Sapien on Microsoft 365.
Gains like this can be achieved via the path of least resistance: humans are biased towards low-effort tasks, so if it’s easy to do and employees understand the value, near miss reporting becomes a low effort, high impact activity.
To achieve this low effort, your near miss report form must:
- Be quick and easy to find
- Open natively in Teams
- Require no new login (single sign on)
In fact, reporting near misses and hazard observations is one of the top recommendations of Pro-Sapien on how to use the platform’s Teams integration.
Near miss reporting requires response
No near miss report is of value unless it is acted upon.
Lack of faith anything will change is another major barrier to near miss reporting. Thus, there must be strong commitment flowing from the top. The NSC notes that promoting “a culture of reporting with the support of all managers and supervisors” helps improve employee participation.
So, as well as near miss reporting in Teams, ensure you have the appropriate mechanisms for notification, investigation, and follow up action.
Furthermore, with the right analytics tools like Power BI (another Microsoft 365 service), near miss reports equip the HSE team with valuable data to help drive safer, more sustainable operations.
Microsoft Teams presents an undeniable opportunity for organizations to increase near miss reporting—the question is, what will you do about it?
Learn more about the Near Miss Reporting Software on Microsoft 365, from Pro-Sapien.