Incident Reporting Software >> Corrective Action
Published 02/06/2021

Best Corrective Action Plan Workflows for 2024

Every organization should effectively develop practical and robust corrective actions when something terrible happens, whether it's environmental, quality, or health and safety. Although most of the events and situations that occur tend to be minor and easily corrected, they prove to be harmful in some circumstances. If they are not handled correctly, they put the organization at risk of their negative impacts. The corrective action is what follows the incident report where once an incident has been reported, a corrective action is raised and assigned. There may be multiple corrective actions assigned to different responsible persons in relation to just the one incident. Actions need to be completed and finalised and this may be a process that goes on for some weeks after the incident has occurred. Due to its investigation, more actions may be raised as new discoveries are identified as part of the incident investigation.

Setting up a Corrective Action Plan

A corrective action program is one of the best measures that can be taken when addressing such problematic situations. It starts with a corrective action form. Examples of corrective actions (CAs) include:

- Suspensions from work
- Warnings and termination in cases of harassment
- Installing alarms
- Recalibrating tools
- Retraining staff on procedures and policies
- Replacing and redesigning equipment

Corrective actions usually focus on discipline especially in human resource settings, while on security and accident issues, they bring about more tangible changes in the organization.

Why are Corrective Actions important?

Corrective action workflows are usually designed to document an occurrence, identify its root causes while clearly stating what should be done to correct the issue. These actions include all activities taken to eliminate the causes of process conformities completely.

Corrective actions are essential in the injury and incident management process because occurrences that happen in the workplace have greater chances of happening again. So, ignoring incidents might result in the loss of huge amounts of money and time when they reoccur.

On many occasions, people focus on the wrong activities when trying to fix a problem in the workplace. However, with the necessary actions in place, you'll be better positioned to stop the problem from happening again and save many resources.

Creating and assigning corrective actions during safety management ensures that the correct steps are followed in addressing the situation that has occurred. They are outputs from various safety management processes such as incident reporting, investigations, inspections, and meetings. Additionally, they are proactive measures aimed at ensuring the implementation of a particular requirement through the right strategy.

The Corrective Action process

Determining the actions to undertake after a particular incident must be a thoughtful process. Although prompt action is always required, do not rush. Begin by creating a plan having in mind that the solution might not be permanent, but with the goal, it will be!

Here is the ideal step-by-step approach for dealing with nonconformities in the workplace:

1. Define the problem
Describe the situation clearly. Ensure that it's real and not a perceived issue. Include all the what, who, how, when, and why. Also, discuss the solution and expected outcomes.
2. Define the scope
Ensure that you have sufficient knowledge on how big the problem at hand is. Understand the context on the size and frequency of the situation; does it happen daily? Does it occur only to one product, customer, or transaction?
3. Containment actions
Create a short-term solution while planning on a long-term fix for the cause. Containment actions are ideally stop-gap measures and immediate checks that will typically catch the problem again if it reoccurs while working on the final solution.
4. Identify the root cause
This isn't easy as it sounds. It involves root cause analysis techniques to determine the underlying causes and not just the perceived issues.
5. Plan a corrective action
Design achievable and measurable solutions with realistic deadlines for fixing the root cause of the problem. All the necessary measures to eliminate the cause need to be applied here.
6. Implement corrective actions
All the measures to the problem should be implemented and managed to completion. They could be any changes in the workplace or disciplinary actions to employees.
7. Follow up to ensure it worked
Review and monitor the effectiveness of the corrective actions while making and updating any possible changes. After implementation, the team carrying out the entire process should wait for a given period and then begin the follow up reviews.

Once a problem is fixed, make decisions to eliminate the root causes for the problem but for one-time issues that don't show signs of recurrence, you can end the corrective action process. However, you still have to monitor the case, and if it shows signs of happening again, change the decision and take action.

The management team may fail or forget to implement corrective measures to a problem within the stipulated period. For this reason, automatic reminders and escalations are set so as not to miss the selected completion dates. The team can get email reminders for dates before, during, and after auditing or fixing nonconformities in the workplace.

Escalations are essential in notifying the manager of actions not taken for a particular incident or when the implementation deadline is missed. This leads to the initiation of a prompt action to address the problem immediately.

In conclusion, the corrective action process is a quality management strategy that allows formal documentation and evaluation of organizational problems. These actions provide a realistic solution to an incident and require a practical application of the entire process. Eliminating problems is one of the best ways to make the workplace better.

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