According to OSHA’s guidance document an incident investigation should only be considered complete if corrective actions and preventative actions (CAPA) are implemented that address the root causes of incidents. The corrective actions must improve a safety program and be supported by senior management.
OSHA’s “Incident [Accident] Investigations: A Guide for Employers” document helps organizations implement an incident investigation system composed of the following four steps:
1) Preserve/document the scene
2) Collect information
3) Determine root causes
4) Implement corrective actions
CAPA may be of limited value if they don’t address the root causes of the incident. Throughout the workplace, the findings and how they are presented will shape perceptions and subsequent corrective actions. In planning and implementing CAPA, employers may find that some root causes will take time and perseverance to fix, OSHA says. However, persisting in implementing substantive CAPA not only reduces the risk of future incidents but also improves a company’s safety, morale and bottom line.
Global CAPA to Consider
Specific corrective actions address root causes directly. But some corrective actions can be general, across‐the‐board improvements to the workplace safety environment, OSHA says. The guidance document provides the following examples of global corrective actions:
- Strengthening/developing a written comprehensive safety and health management program
- Revising safety policies to clearly establish responsibility and accountability
- Revising purchasing and/or contracting policies to include safety considerations
- Changing safety inspection process to include line employees along with management representatives
Finally, consider the use of Incident Management Software to manage effectively corrective and preventive action (CAPA) plans triggered by incident investigations. Incident Management Software can act as a central task management system that schedules and deploys actions, checks progress, alerts team members and makes sure that actions are completed on time.
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