Managing Corrective Actions

Published 04/10/2022

When an injury or incident occurs, part of the workflow that happens next is often a corrective action where an action is logged and assigned to help ensure the incident is addressed and hopefully even prevented from happening again. Corrective actions help correct the situation and rectify that the incident occurance and problem has been addressed with specific tasks to help fix any outstanding issue or address the root cause problems with solutions to ensure they don't happen again.

A registry of corrective actions will help document and manage all actions for an incident and across the workplace as an overall historical actions registry. This helps in workplace goals and stategy.

What is corrective action in the workplace? It is the process of communicating with staff, either direct or indirect, to issue them the actions to follow in response to an incident. This might be an immediate action to take in response to the incident occurance of an improvement to execute on as part of ensuring the incident doesn't happen again.

Importance of employing corrective actions after the incident

A corrective action is the follow on process after an incident has been reported where follow up actions are issued and assigned to staff, managers or contractors to respond to. There could be multiple actions for any one incident. The action might involve recording who is responsible for the action, date recorded, date to action and details of what to do.

- Protect staff

For better production, staff must work in their comfort and free from injuries. When risks are eliminated or minimized, employee trust in the workstation is enhanced, thus better performance and employee behavior. When corrective actions are employed on construction sites, delays caused by accidents are prevented.

- Better production

The objective of corrective actions is to eliminate the fear of incidents in the workplace. Increased staff morale improves commitment hence high production. With a safe working environment, employees feel highly valued by the company.

- Cost saving

The drawbacks of having repeated incidents; include lost time, decreased worker productivity, damages, and fines. When corrective actions are employed, these costs are eliminated. When incidents occur, and employees are affected, the company incurs hospital bills and compensation for time lost. Corrective actions eliminate these unplanned costs saving the company costs.

- Assist in insurance claims

When staff is injured while on official duty, insurance comes in to assess the condition of the workplace and the underlying conditions that led to the incident; if the incident occurred despite having corrective actions in place, the insurance favors the employer because it is more likely that the incident occurred due to personal errors.

- Reduce environmental impact

Incidents such as oil leakages and fires cause damage to the environment. Creating awareness among the staff on what to do in case a fire starts in the workplace is a part of corrective action. The environment is saved from damage when fire extinguishers are installed, tankers transporting oil are well sealed, and staff is educated on the best practices for waste disposal.

A corrective action work frame should cover:
1) The problem
2) Dates recorded
3) Risk assessment
4) Root cause
5) Action taken

Questions to include in a corrective action

1) What is the problem?
This is the problem statement that orients staff toward the solution and helps validate the solution realized.

2) Is it the true root cause?
Effective analysis of the root cause by brainstorming the possible cause of the incident.

3) What is the priority?
Evaluate the corrective actions and see which will fix the problem.

4) Who will be responsible?
Competent personnel has to be assigned to foresee the corrective action process to completion. The progress must be monitored well, and a report generated for future reference.

5) How will the corrective action results be verified?
The big question arises when the process has been completed. The process's outcome must be verified by evaluating the progress from the problem statement to the root cause.

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