March 13, 2009 | Barb Carr

Root Cause: Substance Abuse…. Driver charged with taking Sleeping Medicine

Woman on sleep meds charged in fatal accident” as reported in The Salt Lake Tribune.

“A 28-year-old South Weber woman who allegedly drove while on the sleep medication Ambien has been charged with automobile homicide after an accident that killed a couple.”

Not sure if the driver above in video was just fatigued or if there was medicine involved. Would you have asked if they were taking legal medicine?

What if this had been an employee delivering a package or operating a grinder…. could they be charged with Substance Abuse with your current drug and alcohol Policy? Would you as the employee even have discussed legal medicine use during work?

If you were using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to investigate the incident you would have to ask,

“Could a properly trained supervisor detect the aberrant behavior and, therefore, the supervisor should not have assigned the worker to the job (or should have taken steps to keep the worker out of harm’s way)?” and that is why the worker operated the machinery in an unsafe condition?

If you were using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to perform an audit of your Substance Abuse Policy and Program you would have to ask the same question above to find whether this could be a Significant Issue.

When is the LAST TIME YOU took legal medicine, drove to work, and operated machinery……….. to learn more about effective audits, attend one of our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training courses. Look for my Root Cause Analysis Tip on March 25th for more discussion on audits and risky processes.

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