In fast-paced and high-impact industries, one of the most important things for every employer is having a quick and effective corrective action process. A corrective action process is aimed at dealing with problems after the event has happened.
What are Corrective Action and Corrective Action Tracking?
Despite all the precautions and training, accidents can still happen. When there is a non-conformance, deviation, or another issue, what is done next is called Corrective Action. Corrective actions are actions taken to eliminate any undesirable or adverse situations (a.k.a. deficiencies). Corrective action is a formal, documented process designed to ensure that corrective actions for resolving deficiencies are identified, implemented, and verified.
Corrective action tracking refers to the 'cradle to grave' process to ensure that required corrective actions are carried and verified. This formal documented process is used because needed improvements in your health and safety system cannot be allowed to 'fall through the cracks.'
Why Does This Matter?
A failure in your health and safety system can have tragic consequences. The process consists of three steps:
- Identifying a deficiency;
- Taking corrective action to eliminate the deficiency and preventing any recurrence;
- Determining if the corrective action is implemented and effective.
The Sources of Corrective Actions
The most apparent source of corrective actions is Incident investigations; however, there are many others. Corrective actions come from the commitments employers make every day when they detect a deficiency and set up the steps needed to be taken to prevent a recurrence.
Corrective actions are taken after uncovering deficiencies when:
- Conducting informal and formal workplace inspections;
- Conducting safety meetings;
- Conducting audits;
- Preparing near-miss incident reports and investigations;
- Preparing hazard reports;
- Analyzing safety data for trends;
- Evaluating employee suggestions.
When a course of action for resolving a deficiency is decided, it is officially a corrective action. Reports produced from these activities should always determine whether corrective action is required and include a process to capture these to a formal register for tracking. Electronic processes, like those conducted using The Checker Pro, are well suited for this.
The Corrective Action Tracking
If you cannot immediately and permanently implement corrective action, you must track it until it is implemented and its effectiveness has been confirmed.
There are nine corrective action tracking steps:
- Implementing interim safety measures for the deficiency;
- Agreeing upon the corrective action to be taken;
- Assigning a unique descriptor (number, title, date, etc.);
- Recording the corrective action on a register;
- Assigning responsibilities for implementation and verification;
- Assigning target dates;
- Publishing the corrective action register;
- Establishing a regular status review for all corrective actions; and
- Measuring the effectiveness of the corrective action before closing it out.
Make sure to identify, implement, and verify that your corrective actions have been effective. This will ensure that you protect all employees at your workplace and actively improve your health and safety system. A powerful solution like The Checker software can help you perform the most effective corrective action tracking.