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When it comes to keeping your construction site safe, you have to do more than just comply with OSHA standards. You have to be prepared to go the extra mile to prevent problems – and if problems do arise, you have to go the extra mile to address them.
This is where corrective and preventive action (CAPA) can help you.
Here’s how CAPA for construction can help your company keep your workers safe and prevent accidents from happening.
It starts with identifying the problem.
CAPA plans are improvements to your company’s processes to eliminate non-conformities and other situations that result in unsafe working conditions for your employees. It’s broken into two parts:
Corrective action is about dealing with a problem that’s already occurred, while preventive action is about stopping a problem from happening.
Either way, the first step is identifying the issue you’re dealing with. For example, are your employees not using the right personal protective equipment, resulting in injuries when they do a certain type of work?
Start by asking yourself: what is involved in the problem? What happened here, and what should have happened instead? Where and when did the problem happen?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to research the solution.
Keep in mind that you have to research the problem just as thoroughly as the solution – otherwise, the solution won’t address the underlying issue.
One approach to identifying the root cause of the problem is the Fault Tree Analysis, which is a deductive diagram used to determine the sequence of failures that led to the problem.
First, you have the issue. Then you have three potential causes of the issue (Cause A, Cause B, and Cause C). Each of these causes is broken down further into three different factors contributing to the cause.
This allows you to think through the logic of where things went wrong.
For example, let’s say you had a fire on a construction site. One potential cause might be a construction electrical safety issue, which could be the result of unsafe wiring, improper tools or poor maintenance of tools, or bad housekeeping. This gives you one branch of your Fault Tree Analysis.
Once you’ve determined the cause, you can map out a solution. For example, if a fire was caused by an electrical issue resulting from unsafe wiring, you may need to train your employees on safe wiring and the proper tools to lay electrical wiring.
From there, you need to implement the solution – and make sure that the solution works.
Let’s say that you decide to schedule a safety training on safe electrical wiring. You should measure employee attendance and how well they retained information, but you should also check back regularly to be sure that they’re following the right practices.
You should also trace patterns of human error. Are your employees performing better, worse, or about the same after the training?
Surprise audits are your friend on this. You’re more likely to see how employees actually perform in these circumstances.
Audits should also be part of your preventive action measures. For example, you should conduct regular risk analysis alongside audits and performance reviews.
CAPA for construction sites can make a huge difference in how you handle accidents. But you have to be ready to use it effectively, and you have to be willing to keep checking in to ensure that your solutions are actually working.
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