December 23, 2009 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Understanding the Safeguard is just as important as understanding the Hazard

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A 1959 Chevrolet crashes into a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu…. who wins? Now open the Video.

Crash-1 here is another link to the Video:

Did you get it right? How would the SMART car hold up?200912230854

During our TapRooT® course section, I often ask students whether they think Ice is a hazard (uncontrolled energy). The first answer is often yes. The next question then is whether all ice is a hazard and the answer is… only when you walk or drive on it. Now we get to the uncontrolled energy of motion. For years many have used safety checklists looking for daily “hazards” such as no safety glasses, tripping hazards, and no fall protection… just to realize that we were looking for failed safeguards and not the uncontrolled energies that they were to protect us from. So the first tip is to have all employees look for uncontrolled energy daily.

Once you identify a hazard with no safeguard it may seem easy to select a new safeguard… but is it? Follow through is just as important in safeguards as it is in throwing a ball in the right direction. Each step is vital. If you had selected the older heavy car (1959 Bel Air) because it looked stronger what would the unintended consequences of that choice have been? Final tip of the day, make sure you have a knowledgeable person help with the selection of or improvements of safeguards.

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