According to Bedard (2009), accidents are usually caused by multiple factors. Therefore, an investigator should not settle on a single cause explanation for the accident happening. As such, several analysis and investigation procedures, such as causal factors charting, barrier analysis, change analysis, root cause analysis and casual factors analysis should be carried out jointly in order to come up with working corrective measures.
The Water Tower Accident Scenario
In this accident, during the sandblasting of the water tower, casual factors charting can be used to show graphically the series of mistakes the crew must have committed from the beginning of sandblasting to the time of the employee’s fall. In conjunction to this, change analysis can be utilized to compare the entire procedure that was followed during sandblasting of this water tower against the previous accident-free similar assignments (Geigle, 2007). Change analysis can explain the effect of the failure by the foreman to tie off at the roof as required by the company’s policy.
Through the use of barrier analysis, the investigator is able to determine the effectiveness of accident barriers such as tying off at 6’ and above height, donning a sandblasting helmet, and fall protection life lines in the main tower ladder against the possible accidents during such assignments (Geigle, 2007).
Additionally, casual factors analysis would help to deductively determine the events that led to the fatal falling of the employee. This is achieved by deductive evaluation of the casual factors chart (Vincoli, 1994). As such, root cause analysis becomes the last and fundamental process that would determine the underlying weakness in the company’s safety program that needs to be corrected in order to prevent future fatal falling of employees during such assignments.
In order to establish the root cause and effectively ensure future safety of employees in such tall buildings, all of the above processes should be used jointly. Their joint application facilitates analysis of all casual factors, from the lowest level to the corporate level of accountability.