Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

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Reporting Near Misses, Abnormal Events, or Unsafe Conditions

by: ESD Safety Coordinator Vivi Fissekidou (x5610)

Berkeley Lab and ESD strive to prevent all accidents and injuries.  This cannot be achieved without the involvement and participation of the ESD  employees and affiliates.  A critical component of a safe, injury-free workplace is employee reporting of abnormal events or unsafe conditions timely.  Reporting these issues allows the division to investigate and take action before accidents and injuries occur. 

What is a near miss?

A near miss is an event or an unsafe condition that could cause an accident or injury.

Reporting a a near miss helps facilitate safe practices in the work place, provides the division with valuable information and helps prevent future accidents and injuries. To report a near miss use the ESD online feedback form.

Any concerns you have should be discussed with your Supervisor, Work Lead, or the Division Safety Coordinator  (, X5610).

Near Misses and /or concerns may also be reported at the online EH&S Safety Concerns program.

How do I correct a near miss?

Determine if you can safely take action to resolve the problem yourself utilizing integrated safety management. If you or your supervisor/Work Lead/PI and the Division Safety Coordinator cannot safely take action, please elevate your concerns through Safety Line Management to enlist additional resources to ensure resolution. Please report any actions taken or recommended actions to resolve a near miss on the ESD feedback form.

The information you report will automatically be sent to the Division Safety Coordinator and reported through to Safety Line Management.

The Division Management reviews reported near misses to ensure that corrective actions are followed through and reported to LBNL safety line management as required. Further comments and information may be requested of the person reporting the near miss to ensure that complete and accurate information is collected.

Employees should report the following types of issues to their supervisor and the ESD  safety coordinator  (, X5610):

  • Any situation where  X7-911 (or  from a cell phone 911) is called
  • Any injuries
  • Unplanned fires or explosions
  • rad spills that made contact with floor, clothing/skin or spread outside RMA
  • Chemical spills that cannot be easily and quickly cleaned up
  • Spills of unknown hazardous chemicals
  • Any use of a safety shower or emergency eyewash
  • Irritating or harmful odors or chemical exposures
  • Hazardous gas leaks
  • Employee exposure to hazardous chemicals, lasers, electricity, and other potentially hazardous energy sources
  • Unplanned energy release or near misses where someone was nearly injured
  • Any unusual situations that cause the employee to question their safety or the safety of others

In addition, the following conditions should be reported to the building manager (Ron Woods X4223) and possibly the supervisor and division safety coordinator (Vivi Fissekidou X5610):

  • Water floods
  • Power outages
  • Loss of exhaust ventilation
  • Wet or slippery surfaces
  • Poorly illuminated walkways
  • Tripping hazards on stairs or walkways