March 17, 2009 | Mark Paradies

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Are Some Worksites More Hazardous Than Others? Perhaps a Safeguards Analysis and Equifactor® Are Needed.

The video below should remind us all that some worksites are more hazardous than others.

The amazing part is that those nearest the hazards sometimes become complacent. After all, they live with the hazard day after day.

What does this have to do with root cause analysis?

First, you can apply root cause analysis proactively BEFORE any accident happens.

Two ideas that could have worked in this case are Safeguards Analysis and Equifactor®.

Safeguards Analysis

Before an accident happens, you can review any process and identify the Hazards, the Targets, and the Safeguards.

In this case, the energy being absorbed by the cable is one Hazard.

Someone reviewing this process could ask: “If the arresting system fails, what are the Safeguards to the energy in the cable?

This might identify potential Safeguards that need to be implemented to:

1) Reduce the number of targets.

2) Protect people who need to be nearby.

When I see all the people just standing around unprotected, I think this is an example where many targets (people who really didn’t need to be there) could be removed.

One other note. What was the Safeguard that worked for the “Yellow Shirt” that jumped the cable twice? His human performance (alertness) probably saved his legs. But one might ask, should we rely on this? Or should there be better Safeguards?


Also, a reliability professional might use Equifactor® proactively to analyze potential failures in the arresting gear system to reduce the likelihood of failure. This would reduce the likelihood that the hazard (the energy in the cable) would be released.

Learn More

To learn more about Safeguards Analysis and Equifactor® and other TapRooT® root cause analysis techniques that can be applied proactively to stop accidents before they happen, attend a TapRooT® Course.

To learn the most about Equifactor®, attend the 3-Day TapRooT®/Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting and Root Cause Failure Analysis Course.

To learn the most about the proactive application of TapRooT® root cause analysis tools, attend a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course.

Don’t wait – the Hazards at your facility are constantly trying to find ways to reach your Targets.

PS: Thanks to Shane Deichman (one of our TapRooT® Instructors) for sending this video along.

Root Cause Analysis
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