Author Archives: Barb Phillips

Monday Accident & Lesson Learned: Overpressure of Explosion Proof Enclosure

Posted: July 31st, 2017 in Accidents

This past May, as an engineer unscrewed the cover off of an explosion-proof enclosure, a mass amount of pressure inside forced the cover to propel towards the engineer giving him a fatal head injury.  Two problems were found: the pressure was caused by leaked sample gas or instrument air components and there is no outer pressure meter to read before attempting to open.


(Resource: IOGP Safety Alert #288)

Monday Motivation: Improve Workplace Dynamics for Better Results

Posted: July 31st, 2017 in Career Development, Career Development Tips, Wisdom Quote

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
— Henry Ford

“Group dynamics” describes the effects of roles and behaviors on the group members, and on the group as a whole. You may have a very talented group of employees but if the dynamics aren’t working, your company is not receiving the benefit of that talent.  What can you do about it?

You can:

  • Get to know your team.
  • Tackle problems quickly… before they begin to fester.
  • Assign and define roles and responsibilities.
  • Break down barriers that have been erected.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Pay attention!

Want to know more? Read this helpful article on Mindtools:

Improving Group Dynamics: HelpingYour Team Work More Effectively

Friday Joke

Posted: July 28th, 2017 in Jokes

What do course attendees say about TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training?

Posted: July 27th, 2017 in Training

Are you thinking about taking 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training? Here’s what some recent attendees shared about their experiences:

“Very useful to use a real event. Learned some mistakes that we made in original investigations. Also, helped with our corrective actions.” ~ J. Bosman

“I have gained a lot of skills that I can take to work and implement.  I am involved in equipment failures and this will help in analysis.” ~ Q. North

“The best thing about this course is that it taught me how to look at each individual causal factor alone, isolate the issue and analyze them individually.  Will be using this technique for work every day.” ~ J. Pu

“It will really up my game as an investigator. I’m actually really amped to use the proactive and auditing tools.” ~ C. Menefee

“I can definitely see how using all the software tools can be very effective at getting the facts of any system/process failure.” ~ B. Vascellaro

Check out our global schedule and select a course here.

Why join TapRooT® in Amsterdam?

Posted: July 27th, 2017 in Courses, Local Attractions

Talk about a city rich in history and culture. Amsterdam was first settled by a village of fisherman back in the 12th century, then it grew to be a vital port during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. By the 20th century, the city had grown to be a leading center of finance and diamonds with an ever-growing population. It is now the most populous, metropolitan city in the Netherlands. On top of the success, the Amsterdam natives have created one of the happiest cities in the world.

TapRooT® holds courses here every year to provide our world-class root cause analysis training. This September 11-15, join us for our 5-Day Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader training to learn our dynamic methodology and tools, advanced optional techniques, and get real practice with our robust software. If you’re seeking a root cause analysis method that delivers results to save you resources and employee lives, come to our course.

Register Now

Never been to Amsterdam or making it quick holiday? Here are a just a few great things to do while you’re there taking our course:

Anne Frank House: For anyone who loves or hates history, this is powerful experience.

Van Gogh Museum: If you love art museums, this is bucket list item you have to check off.

Vondelpark: This famously beautiful park is perfect for a casual stroll, a picnic, or family time.

Omelegg: All the breakfast food lovers out there will love this place!

Vinkeles: Making this trip to Amsterdam a holiday? Go out for a nice dinner!

Martine’s Table: If you’re a foodie like me, then dining WITH the chef sounds pretty awesome. This is a must.


Interviewing and Evidence Collection: Prepare to Record the Scene

Posted: July 27th, 2017 in Investigations, Root Cause Analysis Tips

In TapRooT®, we use a mnemonic to quickly remember what types of evidence we may want to collect after an incident occurs: 3 Ps & an R. This stands for:

People evidence
Paper evidence
Physical evidence and
Recording evidence.

Recordings may include any photographs or video you capture. It may also include archived recordings such as computer data or security video.

Today, I have some quick reminders about things to consider in preparation of recording the scene (video or photographs).

First, ensure the battery is fully charged. I know, this is elementary right? Well, it is until you don’t do it and the battery dies in the middle of recording.

Second, remember to turn on the time and date display functions.  Then, you will have an automatic record of when the video was recorded or the photographs were taken without writing it down anywhere.

Third, clear the area of people.  Why? You do not want to record any embarrassing or inaccurate statements on video,  and you don’t want to place people at the scene who were not there originally on video or in a photograph.

To learn more about evidence collection, join me in Houston, Texas in November for a 3-day root cause analysis and evidence collection course, or just 1 day of evidence collection training.

Monday Accidents and Lesson Learned: Retrofitted Busses

Posted: July 24th, 2017 in Accidents

This week’s Lesson Learned isn’t necessarily coming from an accident, but from something that was caught that could have resulted in fatalities if an accident occurs. Ultimately, the lesson here is proactivity. If you’re proactive in your investigations, you can create corrective actions to prevent accidents from ever occurring.

In Russia, it was found that the seats on busses were not bolted down effectively. Although the transportation companies complied with the regulations for seat anchoring when they were manufactured, the regulations have changed due to old seat anchoring practices being unsafe. Previously, the bolts were not properly securing the seats, therefore if there was a collision, the bolts could easily be pulled from the floor allowing the passengers to be injured or even killed.

The corrective action for this proactive investigation is to inspect all public transportation vehicles and ensure that they comply with current safety regulations. If they don’t, they need to be fixed immediately.

Monday Motivation: Leadership

Posted: July 24th, 2017 in Career Development, Career Development Tips, Wisdom Quote

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

The authority of leadership is not something that someday you’ll deserve. It’s possible that you are not even aware of the biggest impact you’ve ever had on a person’s life. You are more powerful than you think! Be inspired with this six minute video.

Everyday Leadership via @TEDTalks

Friday Joke

Posted: July 21st, 2017 in Jokes

Interviewing and Evidence Collection Tip: The #1 mistake when collecting Paper evidence

Posted: July 20th, 2017 in Investigations, Root Cause Analysis Tips


In TapRooT®, we use a mnemonic to quickly remember what types of evidence we may want to collect after an incident occurs: 3 Ps & an R. This stands for:

People evidence
Paper evidence
Physical evidence and
Recording evidence.

Today we are going to discuss the #1 mistake investigators make when collecting Paper evidence. Paper evidence may include all sorts of things including:

  • regulatory paperwork
  • activity specific paperwork
  • personnel paperwork
  • policy and procedure paperwork and
  • equipment manuals.

What do you think the biggest mistake is when it comes to collecting Paper evidence… given all of the paper that we have in our workplaces?

The #1 mistake is: Collecting too much paper that is not relevant to the investigation!

You don’t need to collect every piece of paper at your facility. How do you know what you don’t need? By looking at your SnapCharT®! You need all the paper that supports your timeline of events and supports the facts.  If you use the TapRooT® software, you can easily upload .pdfs of this paperwork and highlight relevant pages in your report to management.

Don’t make the mistake of collecting so much paper that what you need for evidence is somewhere at the bottom of the stack. Use your SnapCharT® to guide you and keep your paper evidence organized in the TapRooT® software.

To learn more about evidence collection, join me in Houston, Texas in November for a 3-day root cause analysis and evidence collection course, or just 1 day of evidence collection training.


The Importance of Planning Your Investigations

Posted: July 18th, 2017 in Video, Video Depot

When you start any major project, you should start by creating a plan, understanding where you’re going and knowing what you need to do along the way. It’s the same with root cause analysis investigations. A plan can make all the difference in the outcome and effectiveness. Did you know TapRooT® has an amazing planning tool called the SnapCharT®? Check out this video to learn more about it:


Interested in learning more about planning your investigations and gathering evidence correctly? Take our one day course in Houston this November.

What does a bad day look like?

Posted: July 18th, 2017 in Accidents


It could look like this but objects may be closer than they appear.  Read the story behind this photo on the Times Colonist.

Monday Accident and Lessons Learned: Injured Spotter from Outrigger Incident

Posted: July 17th, 2017 in Accidents

Backing cranes into position requires multiple workers, the operator and the spotter. At a drill site in February 2015, a spotter was guiding the operator into position, but when he reached for his radio to alert the operator to “stop”, he lost balance causing him to not give the command. The lack of instruction to the operator meant he continued in reverse. By the time the operator realized the mistake, the spotter was already stuck between the outrigger and a well house causing injuries to his wrist. Luckily that was the only harm done.

What are some corrective actions to ensure this sort of incident doesn’t happen again? Ensure there are clear communication protocols in place before starting the job, choose different place for spotter to stand while guiding the operator to avoid being in the line of fire, and instruct both operator and spotter to stop all operations if any communication is lost between them.

Do you agree with these? Is there more they can do?

(resource: IOGP Safety Alert #286)

Monday Motivation: Don’t Buy Into the Myths!

Posted: July 17th, 2017 in Career Development, Career Development Tips, Wisdom Quote


Write down your goals!

Try to do your best!

Visualize success!

What’s wrong with these motivators? We’ve all heard them and probably said them to motivate others. Well, how are they working for you? This Psychology Today article discussed possible stumbling blocks to these motivators:

The 3 Biggest Myths About Motivation That Won’t Go Away

Friday Joke

Posted: July 14th, 2017 in Jokes

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