How to Use Root Cause Analysis for Investigating Incidents

When it comes to workplace accidents or injuries, it is important to gather information about how the incident took place.

The information that is gathered is used for both resolving the incident itself and making changes to prevent future safety concerns. One effective way of gathering and using information is to perform a Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

What is a Root Cause Analysis?

Root Cause Analysis is a proven method for examining the circumstances that happened prior to an issue is an effective way to gather information in an incident investigation. Using Root Cause Analysis, you will have a systematic process that identifies where the root of the issue began, and help you develop effective processes to prevent future issues. Using a RCA you will examine what happened, how it happened, and why it happened using the proven RCA method. One of the main principles of using RCA is focusing on corrective measures of the root cause rather than repeatedly treating the symptoms of a recurring problem.


How To Initiate an RCA for Incident Investigation

One of the first things to do is define the problem itself. Once you understand that you can begin to collect information on any issues or events that contributed to the incident including causal factors and root causes.


Best Practices for Gathering Data and Defining Root Causes

As you review the incident you will collect various types of information and you will want to organize it in a way that is useful and effective. You can define a problem by creating a cause and effect tree or a cause map. Each utilizes the information you have gathered to drill down until you define the root causes of a problem. It is a visual working document that lets you know where you need more information and where there are many layers that contributed to the incident that you are investigating.


Looking Forward and Avoiding Future Incidents

One of the key aspects of Root Cause Analysis is going beyond simply identifying a problem and looking forward by using the analysis to prevent future incidents. You want to create solutions that are effective and change how people approach their work making things safer for the future. Overall, performing a Root Cause Analysis for incidents will allow you to assess the problem, figure out where it is rooted, and implement effective strategies to prevent future issues. If your workers need Root Cause Analysis training, you can trust the professionals at RWLS Safety to help you gain the necessary knowledge.


When you choose RWLS Safety, you can expect a quick response time from a company that's family owned and veteran operated.