C3.2.4 Reactive Monitoring


Reactive monitoring is monitoring what has already happened. It involves reacting to an event that has occurred, rather than being proactive and preventing it.

Reactive monitoring includes monitoring data on issues such as:

  • Environmental Incidents.
  • Environmental Near Misses.
  • Environmental Complaints.
  • Environmental warning letters or prosecutions.


Purpose of Reactive Monitoring:

The purpose of reactive monitoring is to identify deficiencies of environmental systems. It is monitoring the negatives rather than the positives.

The depth of the reactive monitoring will vary from organisation to organisation. The more issues reported, the more there is to monitor in this fashion.

Trends may be identified relating to areas where incidents, near misses or complaints occur; either site or process. The root causes identified may highlight where improvements are required, such as a lack of training or a repeated deviation from a procedure, indicating that the procedure may not be understood or perhaps not workable and therefore it may need revising.

In some situations you may wish to tie the data into a turnover value to enable a comparison to be made regardless of whether the organisation’s activity increases (or decreases). If turnover were to reduce significantly that may have the effect of reducing waste produced, even though no meaningful improvements had been made. Conversely, if turnover were to increase significantly and the waste produced was dramatically reduced, this is likely to be an even more significant improvement that should be quantified to highlight such successes.

It is important that any action taken as a result of reported environmental issues does not discourage environmental reporting. Employees must be encouraged to raise environmental issues and not be chastised for doing so.


Data collected as a result of Reactive Monitoring has to be analysed and statistics produced in order to give a realistic picture of a Company’s safety performance. This information can come from data on accidents, near misses, dangerous occurrences, incidents, ill-health, complaints from workforce and public…