May 4, 2008 | Barb Carr

“How do you know you were successful in safety today?” ….Please don’t say because no one got hurt!

As a TapRooT® root cause analysis instructor and a Six Sigma Black Belt for System Improvements, Inc., I ask the question in this article’s title to numerous safety leaders from multiple industries. What do you think the typical responses are before they attend a TapRooT® course…..

1. No Lost Time Injuries
2. No Fatalities
3. No Near Misses

What’s wrong with these answers? After all, to be best in class for safety you must report these types of numbers. What if I asked your company’s safety leader the following question… “what did you do wrong today to cause this person to get hurt?” This is basically the same question as above except now the safety leader has to answer that the safety department was not successful at the end of the day.

The point is that that the above answers are what are called “lagging metrics”. It’s too late to know what was done wrong or even what was done right! Think about it… when a a fatality occurs the investigation team must exert a lot of effort and time to understand what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. Prevention….. if only the team had understood the everyday problems and root causes that were present before the incident occurred in this area of the business.

Did you know that it takes less time to perform a TapRooT® audit in predetermined areas of company and hazard risk than it does do perform a post incident investigation? So the question to ask again is “how do I know I was successful today in safety?” Your answer could be, “based on a predetermined risk assessment, we lowered the high risk areas in fall protection from 70% to 60%!”

For for ideas about proactive TapRooT® audits, call us at System Improvements, Inc. at 865.539.2139 or even better, attend the TapRooT® Summit in June and see how other top industries are using our proactive audits. Below is a list of proactive opportunities. See you in June.

* Safety & Risk Management
* Human Error Reduction & Behavior Change
* Corrective Action Programs
* Proactive Improvement, Operational Excellence, and Lean/Six Sigma
* Medical Error Reduction
* Equipment Reliability & Maintenance
* Investigation & Root Cause Analysis
* Management & Measuring Performance
* Certified TapRooT® Instructor
* TapRooT® Software Techniques & Administration

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