Near miss and minor occupational injury: Does it share a common causal pathway with major injury?

Background An essential assumption of injury prevention programs is the common cause hypothesis that the causal pathways of near misses and minor injuries are similar to those of major injuries. Methods The rates of near miss, minor injury and major injury of all reported incidents and musculoskeletal incidents (MSIs) were calculated for three health regions using information from a surveillance database and productive hours from payroll data. The relative distribution of individual causes and activities involved in near miss, minor injury and major injury were then compared. Results For all reported incidents, there were significant differences in the relative distribution of causes for near miss, minor, and major injury. However, the relative distribution of causes and activities involved in minor and major MSIs were similar. The top causes and activities involved were the same across near miss, minor, and major injury. Conclusions Finding from this study support the use of near miss and minor injury data as potential outcome measures for injury prevention programs. Am. J. Ind. Med. 52:69-75, 2009.

Hasanat Alamgir MBA PhD* Shicheng Yu PhD Erin Gorman BHK Karen Ngan BSc Jaime Guzman MD MSc FRCPC
Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH) in BC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada