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Getting to the Bottom of an Issue with Root Cause Analysis

By Rigoberto Stokes Subscribe to RSS | June 27th 2012 | Views:

When an issue arises, it is important to resolve it immediately. This is where root cause analysis (RCA) comes in. The process is designed to investigate and categorize “root causes of events with safety, health, environmental, quality, reliability and production impacts.” The term “event” pertains to occurrences that produce these types of consequences.

Root cause analysis is a tool that helps identify what event occurred, how, and why. Investigations determine why an event or failure transpired. Then, workable corrective measures are created to prevent error. Corrective measures and actions are, therefore, an outcome of RCA and an identification and elimination of the causes of the problem.

To better explain RCA, a simple example is this: A plant manager sees a puddle of water on the floor. Knowing that it’s a safety hazard, he asks one of his staff to get a mop and clean the mess up. While the problem is fixed for the day, the plant manager notices a recurrence and consequently investigates. He sees that the puddle is caused by a leak in an overhead pipe due to high water pressure. The manager further investigates and realizes the water pressure valve is faulty. If the manager hadn’t investigated the root cause, the water problem surely will recur and cause more damage.

Root cause analysis is an accurate description of what and how things happened, preventing recurrence. Root causes are also identifiable and may be controlled by management with further recommendations to fix the situation. The process of RCA may range from simple to complex, but generally involves data collection, cause charting, root cause identification, and recommendation generation and implementation.

Companies training their employees can make learning easy and affordable with video learning programs. These teach RCA and corrective action as well as other topics for training that your company might need like: creating action plans, internal auditing, document control, and many more.

Root cause analysis is central to the success of any problem-solving beneficial for companies, as it stops chronic problems that cost you time and money. This prevents inefficiency in employee performance and decrease in customers. As every business aims to thrive, it can count on its employees’ learning this process to fuel performance.

Whether you are in search of effective programs to teach fundamental quality principles or simply need a training session for new employees, you can count on learning about root cause analysis through videos. Visit for more information on root cause analysis.

Rigoberto Stokes - About Author:
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