Identifying the root cause of an accident can be a daunting process because what is at first apparent may not actually be the cause of the incident. Generally, there are three causes to every accident: the immediate cause, contributing or surface cause, and root cause. The role of a supervisor is to identify the root cause and suggest a remedy to the hazard.
For example, if an employee breaks their arm after slipping on a wet tile floor, the immediate cause of the injury is that the employee slipped in a puddle of water, the surface cause is that the floor was wet because the water had not been cleaned up, but the root cause of the puddle and subsequent injury is a leaking pipe.
After identifying the root cause, you will be able to repair the pipe as well as train employees on good housekeeping. This should insure that future employees will not slip in errant puddles and be injured. Below is a helpful graphic that breaks down common causes of injuries. If you have any questions about root cause analysis, contact The Flanders Group today.