Report a Near Miss

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Click to Submit a Near Miss Click for Team Incident Investigation Form Guidance


Why report a Near Miss

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages employers to investigate all incidents in which workers were injured. As well as instances in which an injury might have occurred if the “circumstances had been slightly different”.

A Near miss is a potential hazard in which no property was damaged, and no person was injured. However, given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury could have easily occurred.

A Near Miss is a valuable source of information. Reporting near misses can identify hazards that might have been missed or overlooked during the planning process of a job or work task. Identification of unrecognized hazards often leads to safety changes that benefit all employees.


How to report a Near Miss

Any employee who witnesses or experiences a near miss incident must complete the Near Miss Investigation form (NMI from) within 24 hours of the event’s occurrence. The NMI form is available through DocuSign and will prompt you to enter your name and email as well as your supervisor's name and email address. Providing your supervisor's email address ensures the near miss is communicated to individuals within your department who can help investigate and correct the causes of the Near Miss.

The employee who experienced the near miss is responsible for completing only the first page of the NMI form. Which includes information such as the date, time, and location where the Near Miss occurred along with a description of the events leading up to and following the near miss.

When filling out the form, it is important to be as descriptive as possible. This will ensure those investigating the Near Miss have an accurate description of the incident. When describing the incident ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What task or action was being performed leading up to the near miss?
  2. Was there equipment or machinery involved?
  3. Was the working environment different or unusual in any way?
  4. Did any hazardous environmental conditions contribute to the incident?
  5. Were employees following safe working procedures?
  6. Was there any deviation from normal work procedures?
  7. Was the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by the employee(s)?

To report a Near Miss click here.


How Near Misses are investigated.

OSHA acknowledges the importance of root cause analysis as the preferred investigation style for all near misses, incidents, and injuries. Root cause analysis directs the investigator to the core issue or the highest-level cause of a near miss. Without identifying and eliminating the root cause of a near miss, there is the potential for it to become a serious injury.

All Near Miss events will be investigated by EHS, individual departments, university safety committees, or a combination of the three to identify the root cause. This might also identify weaknesses in the system contributing to the Near Miss. The reporting individual may be asked to participate in the incident investigation. For information on how to fill out the near miss form and how to conduct the investigation process, please visit the Team Incident Investigation Guidance page.

Investigation results will be used to improve safety systems, hazard control, risk reduction, and to educate employees. All of these represent opportunities for training, feedback on performance, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Any questions or 


Steps to send the NMI form to additional recipients: 

Step 1): After submitting the form, when you receive the DocuSign System email with “Completed: Near Miss Investigation Form Submission” in the subject line click the “VIEW COMPLETED DOCUMENT BUTTON”

Step 2): When the FROI opens in your browser download it or print it to send as an email attachment or hard copy respectively. Directions for both are provided below.

  1. Download: click the download symbol (arrow pointing dawn) in the top middle of the browser window then “Combined PDF” from the dropdown list to save it to your computer for attaching to an email.
  2. Print: click the printer symbol in the top middle of the browser window to print a hard copy to your printer 



Purdue University is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for employees. Environmental Health and Safety partners with faculty, staff and students using the Integrated Safety Plan to promote and empower a culture of accountability and commitment for safety and compliance, striving for the elimination of workplace injury and illness. When injuries do occur, Purdue University follows the Worker's Compensation and Occupational Disease Act of Indiana which provides protection for university employees who are injured while carrying out assigned work related duties.


If you have any questions or concerns about Near Miss reporting, contact EHS. Screenshot-10.png


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