January 17, 2011 | Barb Carr

Contest Submission Ends in 10 Days! Don't Miss Your Chance to Win an iPad!

The opportunity to submit a best practice in the TapRooT® best practice contest ends on January 27, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (EST).  We have received two entries so far, so we’re wondering if you’re thinking:

The competition is too stiff. Each TapRooT® user brings a unique perspective to this contest.  The contest is to promote sharing and working together to help change the way the world solves problems.  We value what every TapRooT® user has to say.

My best practice isn’t a big enough idea. Says who?  Every idea has value … don’t think because your best practice hasn’t saved your company a million dollars or reduced injuries that it isn’t big enough to submit.  If your best practice is working for you, it works for this contest.

I don’t understand how the contest will be judged. The contest submission opportunity ends January 27, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (EST).  Soon thereafter, all of the entries will be posted on the Root Cause Analysis Blog and voting will begin.  Readers will vote for the Best Practice Success Stories that are most useful to them. In the event of a tie at deadline, the in house instructors at System Improvements will select the winner by vote.  Voting will end on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (EST).

I can’t write. That’s okay, it will not be graded.  You just need to briefly talk about your best practice as you would if you were sharing it informally with another TapRooT® user.  The submission should include three sections:  1)  Challenge, 2) Action, 3) Results.  A few sentences to a few paragraphs for each section is perfect.  Here is an example of what a submission would look like:

Using TapRooT® to Reduce the Severity of Ergonomic Illnesses and Cut Workers’ Comp Costs


I took over responsibility for HSE at a research, production, administration, and distribution facility that was having problems with ergonomic illnesses. These types of illnesses were especially troubling in our order entry and distribution areas. I had previously been trained in TapRooT® and knew how it could help people to quickly find root causes without the negative connotations usually found in investigations. Therefore, I thought that this would be an excellent candidate for a pilot program.


We licensed our facility and had System Improvements personnel train a core group of 25 investigators from the various organizational units that would be investigating these and other incidents. We then performed root cause analysis of the ergonomic incidents and implemented immediate corrective actions. One of the actions was to encourage earlier reporting of these injuries/illnesses.


Reporting of ergonomic illnesses increased by up to 40% in some areas. This was even higher than expected, but the early reporting of ergonomic illnesses helped us reduce the illness’s severity. By fixing the root causes and getting early treatment, we could avoid surgery. This was a positive step for employees and our company. The severity of ergonomic incidents for the entire facility was reduced while the frequency of reporting the incidents increased. The most dramatic improvement was in the customer service department. The severity decreased from 96.4 to 0.0 !

The impact of this improvement is significant. It means much less pain and suffering for our employees by fixing problems early – before significant injuries occur. Long term it also means reduced cost for ergonomic illness related surgeries and lost time during rehabilitation. This is reflected in the the cost of our self-insured workers compensation costs which we have saved on average over $1 million per year for the past six years.

Ready to enter? Submit your entry to editor(at)taproot.com and be sure to put “Best Practice Submission” in the subject line.

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