Published 26/01/2022

No company is ever stable when its immunity is in doubt. However, accidents, near misses, misconduct, poor quality and quantity, late deliveries, and incidents are unavoidable. A company that needs to maximize its workforce differentiates between toxic, functional, and enjoyable cultures.

A Corrective Action is a measure implemented in a workplace to combat the reoccurrence of incidents that may lead to injuries, destruction, and ruining the public image. It eliminates the root causes of problems that have already occurred. Corrective action can be; replacing old electric wires, renovating old roofs, replacing tarnished tiles, improving the quality and quantity of products, renovating old Ethernet cables.

Components of a corrective action

Determining the actions to take after an incident should be a decision for all stakeholders. When the action is needed to be acted upon promptly, the decision is implemented with the knowledge of the parties concerned. The following are the stages of implementing corrective action in a workplace.

- Establish a team
A team of experts is established who know about the incident. The team is allocated enough time, resources, and relevant assistance to implement the corrective action. The team is responsible for mining data about the cause o the incident.

- Describe the incident
The incident is described as 'what caused what and what went wrong' in the company. A problem statement is generated at this stage, critical processes for solving the problem analyzed, and a project plan is developed.

- Develop measures for combating the incident
The relevant corrective action for isolating the incident is defined, verified, and presented for implementation. A team of experts screens the measures to avoid adding more problems rather than isolating them.

- Define the root cause(s)
In most cases, incidents are triggered by internal and external environments. To define the root cause(s), data collection methods are implemented to establish precisely what caused the incident. The team uses the data collected to brainstorm possible root causes and eliminate the root causes that do not relate to the incident.

- Select and implement the best corrective actions
The best permanent corrective actions for eliminating the root cause are chosen. The solution is developed, its effectiveness verified, and the possible side effects determined. The best solution is implemented, and its effectiveness is monitored over time.

- Prevent recurrence
Some incidents tend to recur due to human error, machine failure, or ignorance. Recurrence is common in workplaces where rules and regulations are not reinforced. Prevention of incident recurrence is critical and standardized systems, policies, and methods must be factored in.

- Follow up
Once an incident has occurred and rectified, the progress must be followed up to check whether the solution is working as expected. Following up helps in finding solutions to similar incidents in the future.

For instance, a particular supermarket takes corrective action that deals in all household items. A customer complained about the meat he purchased from the supermarket, and when it was measured, it contained donkey DNA which was a serious health risk to human consumption. The supermarket implemented corrective action to combat the incident.

The first and most critical action was to withdraw the product from the market and create awareness to the entire community that might have bought it. The other corrective action was to take the remaining meat to a laboratory for examination. The last corrective action was for customers who had purchased and consumed the meat to present themselves at laboratories for testing.

The supermarket conducts the supplier and enquires more information about the origin of the meat. The supermarket later implements measures to prevent such incidents by initiating processes for screening the meet before buying.

Corrective actions are critical for preserving the public image of companies. Customers and job seekers are attracted by companies that have an excellent public relations record. Whenever an incident occurs, it may be a result of a mistake, but no one can understand when it happens again.


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