January 26, 2022 | Mark Paradies

How To Find the Root Causes of Human Error

Why Do You Need a Better Way to Find the Root Causes of Human Error?

Before we jump into the best way to find the root causes of human error, let’s consider some of the ways that don’t work well.

Here’s a list of some common techniques. Click on the method to find out why it doesn’t work well:

You may have seen others use these techniques to achieve inconsistent, ineffective results. Inconsistent, ineffective results are the reasons that many look for a better way to find the root causes of human errors.

If you are looking for effective, consistent, proven ways to find the root causes of human error, read on and learn more!

What Does It Take to Find the Root Causes of Human Error?

To start with, you need to understand that you don’t start by asking “Why?” Instead, you start by understanding what happened. The sequence of events. Understanding the sequence of events is part of the fundamentals of root cause analysis.

Next, you need to identify all the errors, mistakes, and equipment failures (Causal Factors) that contributed to the Incident that you are investigating.

Third, you will need to dig deeper to find the root causes of each Causal Factor. This requires a systemic approach with guidance for the investigator. We find that investigators need guidance for human error-related issues because so few people have training in the reasons for human errors (human factors training).

Fourth, if this is a major issue (beyond a precursor incident), you will need to consider if any of the specific root causes that you have just identified, has a Generic (systemic) Cause.

Now you are ready to develop effective corrective actions. To develop effective corrective actions for human performance issues, you (once again) probably need guidance from your root cause analysis tool.

The final step to finding (and fixing) the root causes of human error is to get management to approve the corrective actions before jumping to conclusions and placing blame. Blame is what we find as the most common reaction to human error.

Why do you need guidance to prevent blame? Because you don’t have a Peabody Foam Finger Pointer!

That’s an outline of the steps to find the root causes of human error but you will need more than an outline, you will need a well-designed, detailed tool. What does that tool include? Read on for more information.

A Well-Designed, Detailed Tool for Human Error Root Cause Analysis

What does a well-designed, detailed tool to find the root causes of human error need? Try these:

  • A tool to organize and display your sequence of events (SnapCharT®).
  • A tool to identify all the Causal Factors (the Causal Factor Worksheets).
  • A tool to dig deeper with guidance to find root causes (the Root Cause Tree®).
  • A method to find Generic Causes (see this book).
  • Guidance to develop effective corrective actions for human performance issues (the Corrective Action Helper® Guide).
  • Strategies for presenting your management with your root cause analysis and the corrective actions.

Where can you learn these tools? That’s easy. TapRooT® Training. If you already know techniques that are inconsistent and ineffective, why not try the best RCA? The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System.

What does someone have to say about the TapRooT® System after a course in Dubai?

Finding the Best Human Error Root Cause Analysis Tool is Just the Start

Once you have learned the best system to find the root causes of human error, you should start thinking about developing a custom human performance improvement program for your company.

How can you develop your own human performance improvement program? Easy. Follow this six-step plan…

To find out more about our Stopping Human Error Course, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Stopping Human Error book, click on the picture of the book above.

Don’t wait! Finding the true root causes of human errors and effectively fixing them should be one of your highest priorities. And starting your own custom human performance improvement program should rapidly follow learning how to find the root causes of human error.

Get register for our public TapRooT® Training today or get a quote for a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course at your site (either with in-person or virtual instructors) by CLICKING HERE!

A Team Working on an Exercise at a public TapRooT® Course.
Human Performance, Root Cause Analysis, Root Cause Analysis Tips
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2 Replies to “How To Find the Root Causes of Human Error”

  • Lori Allen says:

    Good morning
    I’m trying to sign in or register for today’s webinar and am not having any luck. Can someone assist me.

    • Susan Napier-Sewell says:


      Did you receive the help needed for the webinar? If at any time you are having a problem and require help in a hurry, please call us at 865.539.2139 and ask for the specific help you need. Thank you for reaching out and I hope you found what you needed.

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