Hillary Redd Sospes

By: Hillary Redd

November 14, 2019

Safety Professionals are encouraging a healthy safety culture through “good catch” reporting which is resulting in trackable and usable workplace data.

Safety Professionals are more encouraged than ever to find efficient ways to report near-miss/close call incidents and potentially unsafe conditions in the workplace so that contributing factors can be identified and prioritized before they result in personal injury, illness or property damage. Identifying such a situation represents a “Good Catch” that just might save you or your co-worker from injury!

The Importance of “Good Catch” Reporting

Being new to the safety world, I have had the opportunity to spend some time among safety professionals, and have observed that administrators and supervisors are frustrated that they don’t have real-time, trackable safety data at their fingertips. How many times have you heard a variation of “Whew, that was a close one! They could’ve been killed. Good catch!” at your workplace? For too long, companies in all major industries suffered systemically from a culture of under-reporting near-misses, regardless of severity. Safety Professionals can’t fully track workplace safety due to many factors including overflowing administrative paperwork, difficulty reporting, and the stigma of negativity and fear from employees.

The lack of reporting of near-miss/close calls paints an incomplete picture of what is happening on a jobsite, so how can we measure data that will complete the picture? If employees are not reporting a near-miss because they don’t want to be reprimanded, then it’s important to turn that negativity around and build confidence. In other words, build that confidence by demonstrating to them that they – or anyone – will not be reprimanded for reporting. Create a positive reporting environment by positively encourage their employees to report a “good catch”.

Can “Good Catch” Reporting Lead to Trackable Data? YES!

From what I have seen, a “good catch” program has become more and more synonymous with a healthy safety culture. Encouraging a healthy safety culture through “good catch” reporting ultimately results in trackable, usable workplace data for safety professionals who can then use that data to act on occurrences and start predicting “good catches”. Employees are more likely to engage in reporting a near-miss/close call as a “good catch” observation because the negative connotations and fear behind reporting a near-miss is almost eliminated. Instead, companies are encouraging their employees to report “good catches” to their supervisors because these “good catches” are a positive reaction to a potentially life-threatening situation.

When a company’s safety culture includes encouragement and recognition for employees who see something, say something, and do something to prevent events from occurring, then they have created a healthier safety culture. By reporting observations, activities and actions that result in a safer workplace, employees can see achievable goals that will make their days/nights safer and happier.

How To Make “Good Catch” Reporting Simpler

I think it is important that the ease of reporting a near-miss and/or a “good catch” should be available to all employees. This gets into that nitty gritty paperwork that bogs down both employee and supervisor. If the programs they are using to report aren’t easy, then are they going to put the effort into reporting what they observe? Probably not. If employees have to complete exhaustive paperwork or file a formal report to notify the supervisor of a “good catch”, then they will be less likely to make a report. Simplifying the process is a great starting point for companies who want to start receiving usable data from their employees, so it is a good idea to consider ways to begin uncomplicating that process.

Even though I haven’t been with Sospes for very long, I am excited to see where this journey takes me and hopefully be a part of helping safety professionals and their organizations move towards a more positive and healthy safety culture!

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