July 29, 2009 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Are Global Audits more Effective than Directed Audits in Reducing Incident Risk?

I often ask auditors in our TapRooT® Incident Analysis courses, would a 100 percent compliance finding during an audit translate into areas with reduced risk? After all, shouldn’t we be striving towards standardization and reduced risk? “But that is not my role”, I hear. “My role is to ensure that the company is following the policies and procedures as written.”

Next I ask my Safety Manager’s in the course which areas of the company get hazard compliance audits and how does compliance translate into reduced incidents in your highest risk tasks? Often the answer is “all areas must be audited monthly to reduce risk.” Not the answer I am looking for because there is no baseline of risk established and none tracked for changes. So how do I know if I have been effective?

Finally, the question to all is what role do you play in finding the root causes and developing the corrective actions for failed audit findings? So let’s do a little math for a small company with 10 departments times 30 audit questions per checklist times 12 months equals 3,600 possible failed findings. This product is very conservative in nature. By this time the students in our TapRooT® Incident Analysis course have a firm grasp on what it takes to complete a TapRooT® audit. Realizing it is no longer just a “I found an issue now go fix it” response to the department managers, our students understand that a plan should be put in place based on what are the highest risks and what needs a TapRooT® level audit.

If your audit program displays the same gaps as discussed above, you need to attend our upcoming Summit in Nashville, TN, this October. For more information on improving performance and risk assessments start with the link below.


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