Have you had a near miss?

Monthly safety tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee

Suppose you are late for a class or for a meeting. You have your hands filled with your notes, pen, water bottle and phone. You are walking fast to make up some time and then kerplunk. You tripped over the floor mat that was in front of the door. You caught your balance back quickly and you didn’t even drop your phone! Whew! You quickly turn your head to ensure no one else saw your blunder. Then you chuckle as you continue to your destination while giving yourself a pat on the back for not actually falling.

We can all think of times when similar circumstances have happened to us. If so, you just encountered a “near miss.”

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) defines a “near miss” as an incident in which no property was damaged and no personal injury was sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury easily could have occurred. The same items that cause accidents cause “near misses.” In fact, labor statistics estimates that there are about 300 near miss incidents for every accident!

The best way to avoid an actual accident from occurring is to fix the near miss incidents. Join the near miss “SECT”:

  • STOP
  • TELL

Take the time to stop and evaluate what caused your near miss. Take immediate action to correct the situation. Always, communicate the near miss incident. If you observe an unsafe situation or item, e-mail safetyawareness@bhc.edu.  If you see something that needs to be addressed by facilities, sign into myBlackHawk and click on the Employee tab.  Next click on the Facilities Work Request (schooldude) https://www.myschoolbuilding.com/myschoolbuilding/msbdefault_email.asp?frompage=myrequest.asp and submit the item that needs to be addressed.

Stay safe and be proactive.


Disclaimer: These tips have been provided as general information for increasing safety awareness and for informational purposes only. Black Hawk College does not accept any liability for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) that is provided. We make every effort to insure the integrity and validity of the data provided.  Always, check with your care provider before making any changes.


Howard, K. (2014, Jan 1). “Everybody gets to go home in one piece,” National Safety Council, http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/6843–articles-6843-everybody-gets-to-go-home-in-one-piece

Watkins, H. “Near Miss Accidents – A Near Miss is an Accident that Almost Happened,” Brassmein.com, http://brassmein.com/articles/safety/nearmiss.htm