Background One of the most common obstacles in preventing accidents is the unwillingness of personnel to report near miss incidents. The enhancement of a common reporting culture is essential for a safety process to work.
Methods The number of employees in the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) is around 12,000 and FDF trains around 25 000 conscripts every year. However the number of official safety near miss reports was 223 in the year 2014. The aim of this process is to lower the threshold of incident reporting by making it simple and worthwhile with a software.
Results A safety management software (SMS) incorporates a common methodology for incident and risk management. Incident management includes reporting and managing near misses and injuries as well as performing safety investigations. FDF personnel and conscripts can report incidents via internet or intranet and on the simplest level they have to fill a form with only a few fields. Three obligatory fields (material, activity and location) link the incidents to the risk management tool and can be used as an easy database when performing risk assessments. The reporter can follow the management of incident report and corrective and preventive actions and will always get a feedback. One of the reasons for high threshold of reporting incidents is the fear of penalty. This matter is of great importance especially in military environment and the safety investigations and the investigations to allocate legal liability must be strictly separated. The safety investigation tool and a related norm are one of the methods to tackle this problem.
Conclusions The safety management software with anonymous and mobile reporting possibility is striving towards a proactive safety reporting. But the software itself is not a shortcut to success. To play its part, it needs communication, procedures, training and above all systematic safety work at all levels and good safety culture starting from the top of the organisation.
- safety culture
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