January 23, 2013 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Analysis Tip: 3 Seconds Can Kill You…

A recent study shows that even a three-second distraction can cause a colossal mistake in your work.

An experiment was done in which participants were asked to perform tasks, with or without interruptions. It only took a 2.8-second interruption to cause participants to make a mistake. This is because “the participants had to shift their attention from one task to another. Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a process that takes considerable thought,” says lead researcher Erik Altman.

“What this means is that our health and safety is, on some level, contingent on whether the people looking after it have been interrupted,” Altman said. ” … ensuing errors can be disastrous for professionals such as airplane mechanics and emergency room doctors.”

If you know TapRooT®, you already know how detrimental distractions can be. It comes down to the root cause “Human Engineering”. Make your work environment the safest you possibly can by turning off your cell phone and focusing of the task at hand. Take breaks when necessary and make sure you’re well rested and can complete your job in a safe manner.

If your job is to respond to crises, then by all means keep your cell phone on, but evaluate your unnecessary distractions and see if you can eliminate any.

Don’t have a high risk job? This also applies to your desk job. Turn off your cell phone and e-mail for the period of time when you really need to focus and get a certain task performed perfectly. Then check them at a designated time.

(Image from The Houston Chronicle)

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