Risk & Business Magazine Hardenbergh Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 13

CAUSE AND EFFECT O ne of the first, and most basic, things that everyone learns is the concept of cause and effect. If you push over a domino, the domino is going to fall down. If you leave a pizza in the oven for too long, the pizza is going to burn. Cause and effect is a simple concept, yet many people don’t think to apply it very far in their day-to-day lives. When it comes to risk management, instead of looking at an effect, it is often better to examine the cause of that effect through what is known as root cause analysis. Root cause analysis is a deep dive into a specific problem in order to identify the cause of that problem. A simple example would be the following: an employee falls down on the job after slipping on a puddle of water. A root cause analysis would consist of a series of questions delving into the problem: 1. Why did the employee slip? There was water on the floor. Great Falls is now Eastern Alliance 2. Why was there water on the floor? Because the air conditioning was leaking. 3. Why was the air conditioning leaking? Because regular maintenance was not being performed on the unit. From the beginning, we had what looked like a straightforward issue but what we ended up with was something entirely different. The bright side, however, is now that the cause has been determined, it is relatively simply to turn that around and find a viable solution. One of the most unfortunate realities of life is trying to find a solution without even knowing what the real problem was. Though this is a very simple example, it shows how root cause analysis can be used. Typically, it won’t take more than five questions to get to the bottom of something. The idea is, however, not to assign blame. You go after the cause from the neutral standpoint of simply finding out why something has occurred so that the issue can be rectified in the future. When the cause of a given problem has been identified, it can be rectified and prevented in the future. That is precisely what risk management is all about. Not only does this analysis help to prevent issues in the workplace and to solve problems but it helps keep employees from being injured and property from being damaged, both of which can ultimately reduce insurance premiums. Perhaps best of all, this technique is applicable to all walks of life. It is not confined simply to the workplace. Problems with health issues, the home, automobiles or just about anything else can be diagnosed in the exact same way utilizing root cause analysis. It is a powerful technique for problem solving, and it belongs in the toolbox of virtually everyone. For more information or to find out how root cause analysis is being applied to insurance issues, contact Helen Goodwin at hgoodwin@hig.net. + Great Falls is now Eastern Alliance innovation that works for you Eastern is a best-in-class workers' compensation provider with a comprehensive choice of unique products and services designed to help protect our policyholders and their employees – and make their lives easier. It includes our traditional market insurance solutions, our individualized unite ® plan created just for small businesses, and Inova ® , our secure alternative to traditional insurance. See how Eastern Alliance can deliver fresh outlooks and better outcomes to your organization. Visit easternalliance.com today. A Member of ProAssurance Family of Companies. fresh outlooks. better outcomes., unite, and Inova are registered trademarks of Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ProAssurance Corporation. © Copyright, 2019 08012019 13