Accident Investigations and Root Cause Simplified

I am stealing this concept from a fellow co-worker, but I just had to share it. When conducting an accident investigation, performing a root cause analysis can be challenging. Let me simplify it for you. Ask yourself these few simple questions to determine where the breakdown occurred.

1. Did they know?
-Did they know the right way to perform the task?
-Did they know the correct process or procedure?
-if not, you might have a training issue.
2. Do they care?
-Do they care about doing the job right?
-Is the company culture such that it’s okay to disregard safety protocol?
-do they understand why they need to perform the task that way?
-If not, you may have a communication or behavioral issue.
3. Do they have the right resources?
-Do they have the proper tools or equipment to do the job correctly and safe?
-Do they have management support and financial backing to safely do the job?
-If not you might have a management issue.
4. Is there an incentive to take shortcuts?
-Are they pressured to just get the job done?
-Are you incentivizing outcomes rather than behaviors?
-Is there any accountability or recourse for not following protocol and safe work practices?
-If so, you might have a management, cultural, or behavioral issue.

Ask yourself these questions next time you conduct an accident investigation to see where you can improve and prevent future incidents from happening.