Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority, MPA, is asking for near-misses to be reported under a confidential reporting scheme. A form is available from the MPSA’s website. As with similar schemes the MPS assures reporters that their identity will remain confidential and that information provided will not be used for prosecution or litigation.
Near-miss reports can enable safety problems to be identified before they cause an accident. It has been estimated that for each accident there are some 100 near-misses. Those near-misses can also be symptomatic of wider safety problems: Many accident reports include a range of safety concerns unconnected with the incident itself.While successful in the offshore industry it has proven difficult to sustain confidential reporting schemes in the maritime industry. The two best known schemes are the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme and the Nautical Institute’s Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme, both are global schemes..
Says the MPA “A near-miss is defined as a sequence of events and/or conditions that could have resulted in loss. This loss was prevented only by a fortuitous break in the chain of events and/or conditions. The potential loss could be human injury, environmental damage, or negative business impact”.
A paper by Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau, which also operates a confidential reporting programme, explains: “Confidential reporting schemes play an important role in gathering safety information for the purpose of hazard and risk identification. They work in conjunction with other information collection systems including mandatory reporting, safety investigations, and audit and compliance related activities, to create a complete picture of the health of a safety system.