Reporting near-miss safety events: Impacts and decision-making analysis

Michael Winkler, Yael Perlman, Sara Westreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Reporting of near-miss safety events is commonly assumed to enhance safety in organizations, as such reporting enables managers to identify and address accident risk factors. An organization's capacity to leverage near-miss events in this way is contingent on cooperation between employees, who must report near-miss events accurately, and managers, who must encourage such reporting. Herein, we present a game-theoretic model that captures the decision processes of a manager and an employee with regard to the reporting of a near-miss event. The manager decides on an incentive (penalty) to motivate an employee to report, whereas each employee decides on the resource level that she will invest in reporting. Contrary to the prevalent assumption in practice, we do not assume a priori that the reporting of a near-miss event will reduce the likelihood of future accidents. Rather, drawing from prior research and from a case study of an Israeli firm that implemented a safety reporting system, we assume that: (a) the reporting (and appropriate handling) of near-miss events has the potential to contribute to reducing the odds of a future accident, but that (b) the nature of this influence depends on unknown parameters and is thus inconsistent. We provide conditions for an equilibrium to exist and perform sensitivity analysis of the equilibrium with regard to various parameters. An interesting application of the numerical analysis is the ability to identify optimal values of the decision variables for which the corresponding rate of reporting actually contributes to reducing the likelihood of a future accident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


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