Many an OH&S Manager or Committee make the same assumptions when attempting a Root Cause Analysis. Too often the human factor is deemed to be the cause for an accident, near miss or MSI injury, product error.
To jump to this conclusion in the absence of performing a full and complete Root Cause Analysis is folly at best. Root Cause Analysis is part of the toolkit and expertise of Qualified Ergonomists. They rarely put the cause for accidents, product damage, slowed productivity, near misses on the human factor.
From this assumption follows a response by the OH&S Committee and Manager to commence corrective actions for human error in the absence of further analysis.
Ergonomists need to be part of the team which determines the actual source of or Root Cause for human error.
We should start with the proper definition of Root Cause:
Root Cause is the absence of best practice in the workplace and a failure to apply knowledge that would have prevented a an accident, near miss, human error, product damage, loss of productivity.
At Optimal Performance Consultants our Ergonomists use a Root Cause Analysis methodology to ensure that the human factor- employees- are able to apply best practice & knowledge to consistently improve human performance & reduce rates of human error.
The Root Cause Analysis methodology used in our practice includes asking questions (which can seem like obvious questions but need to be asked in every investigation) in 7 categories including;
• Procedures & SOP’s
• Quality Control
• Human Engineering
• Work Direction & real Supervision
• Management Systems
Once this data is collected and all validated questions are answered we are then able to sit with the engineering, supervisory, OH&S managers and committees to map out a course of corrective action that is very specific, measureable and effective.
Next time you think of Ergonomics don’t just think “its about an ergonomic chair” or “this is about good posture at work”. Ergonomics, when applied by qualified, highly educated and experienced Ergonomists is about maximizing human performance on a consistent and real basis.
Ask us more about this topic or how our Ergonomists can work with your company anywhere in Canada to maximize human performance & productivity while decreasing human error and accidents.