February 27, 2006 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lesson Learned – How I Lost My Job

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The driver knows that it was a bad day (more pictures at the link below).

What is the cost of this kind of accident?

  • Damage to the bridge.
  • Damage to the equipment.
  • Damage to the trailer.
  • Damage to the cab.
  • Driver injuries.
  • Other drivers injured?
  • Lost time at a construction site (equipment never got there).
  • Lost time of people stuck in traffic because of the accident.
  • Lost time of people stuck in traffic because of repairs.
  • Management attention diverted to the lawsuits (there will no doubt be some).
  • Emergency response.
  • Increased insurance premiums.

What is the root cause of the accident? Who knows … it’s unlikely that anyone will ask!

But we already know the most likely corrective action … Fire the Driver!

And here is an amazing thought – the fired driver is probably the only one who learned a lesson. He learned a lesson not because he was fired, but because he was the one who hit the bridge.

So what can you learn from this accident?

First, do you know the costs of accidents at your facility?

Do you know how much “human error” cost your company last year?

If you don’t know these costs how can you decide how much you should invest to prevent these costs in the future?

Second, do you know when you should use discipline after and accident and when you should NOT use discipline?

If you are interested in this topic, consider attending the “Just Culture” session at the TapRooT(R) Summit. Jim Whiting, Australian Safety and Risk Management experts will be sharing ideas that may change your company’s approach to discipline.

Finally, the people who investigate this accident will probably attribute it to “simple human error.” But this simple result probably won’t help them understand the real causes of the accident or practical solutions to prevent these accidents in the future.

If you are interested in the real root causes of human error, I would suggest three things.

1. Attend the 5-Day TapRooT(R) Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training.

2. Attend the Stopping Human Error Course on April 3-5, 2006, in Gatlinburg, TN.

3. Attend the Human Performance and Behavior Change Best Practices Track at the TapRooT(R) Summit, April 5-8, 2006.

Hope to see you at one or all of these sessions…

For more pictures, click below.

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