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Ajith Ku's picture

near miss is not a lagging indicator as such...reporting of near miss ..yes it is..Opinion please

Members would you say a near miss is not a lagging indicator as such...reporting of near miss ..or yes it is..Opinion please?

September 28, 2018 @ 03:24 PM EDT Health & Safety

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4 Answers


A near miss, unsafe act and an unsafe condition are leading indicators not lagging indicators. The reason is as follows; A lagging indicator is a report of an accident that has already happened. A leading indicator is an observation of a condition that may lead to an accident, but the accident did not happen!

October 18, 2018 @ 17:24
Vince Marchesani's picture



I would say it depends. If you have an immature safety culture/system with little to no reporting, I may treat near miss reports as a leading indicator initially. As the system matures and reporting become normalized and accepted look at it as a lagging indicator.

October 03, 2018 @ 16:41
Brian Carabine's picture


Tamara Parris's picture
Tamara Parris

good point Brian. Thank you for taking the time to share!

October 03, 2018 @ 05:39 PM EDT

This has long been debated and I'm not sure anyone owns the definition outright. In my opinion, I think the answer is best applied in how you treat the information. If you are stopping after a collection of the number of incidents with the thinking of "failure just short of the loss," sure treat it as a lagging indicator. However, if you are looking at near misses as actionable data, meaning understanding the data and using information to reduce risk, leverage culture and prevent actual loss, you have yourself a leading indicator.

October 01, 2018 @ 16:58
Scott Gaddis's picture



@vincemarchesani and @scottgaddis what are your thoughts on this members question post?

September 28, 2018 @ 16:26
Tamara Parris's picture


Ajith Ku's picture
Ajith Ku

just to add reporting of near the lesson learnt so it leading indicator but not the near miss just happening and not being reported

September 28, 2018 @ 04:27 PM EDT
Carsten Busch's picture
Carsten Busch

A much greater problem than "wait time" is that lagging indicators are a weak measure. Absence of incidents is not necessarily presence of safety...

September 28, 2018 @ 04:29 PM EDT