Basic Risk Factors

Systemizing the Root Causes of defects

Planning and design, procedures, maintenance, communication, organization and policy, conflicting tasks, safety precautions, housekeeping, environment, plant condition

Root Causes: A Catalog of Basic Risk Factors

It will be helpful from the beginning on to define a catalogue which might help you

  • to realize how seemingly small errors on the shop floor are really caused by faulty or missing action of Top Management,
  • to show your Top Management, which weaknesses endanger the quality of the entire organization and require control from Top Management,
  • to compare different departments of your company with each other and even form benchmarks
  • to define parameters for your Continuous Improvement Process.

Available Root Cause Catalogues

There had been available already two catalogues:

  • Basic Risk Factors by Tripod®: Tripod is a registered trademark of Tripod International, Den Helder, The Netherlands. This system had been developed by Royal Dutch Shell. It is available through Tripod International. 
  • Basic Risk Factors by van Vuuren: Van Vuuren has developed this catalogue systematically while conducting research on human errors in industrial plants and the medical domain. van Vuuren, W.: Organisational Failure. Diss. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven/The Netherland 1998

Grothus Basic Risk Factors 

While analyzing Quality Defects with my clients I found Tripod very helpful. I have revised the items, added some, structured the contents in a way I considered more practical and put them into a Microsoft EXCEL file with different tables.

Here are the 11 BRFs 

Code Headline Description
PP Process and Plant

Properties of the initial planning of process and/or plant design. They had planned/designed improperly from the beginning :

a) difficult to operate and/or maintain
b) excessively stressed by process or environment
c) fallible kind or sequence of activities or program steps

Concerning the quality or deterioration of plant equipment see also MM (Maintenance Management) and CP (Condition of Plant)

PD Procedures and Documentation

Missing, false or ineffective:

a) process procedures
b) instructions and manuals
c) specifications
d) and other

MM Maintenance Management

Plant equipment, tools, dies, appliances:

a) had deteriorated
b) were improperly maintained
c) had not been available due to shut downs etc. for maintenance activities

See also CD (Condition of Plant)

CO Communication

Missing or ineffective communication between:

a) working areas
b) departments
c) persons belonging to this organization
d) instances outside of this organization

Concerning communication equipment see also PP (Process and Plant)

OP Organization and Policy

Management and processes had been inhibited from:

a) targets and goals
b) strategy
c) structure of organization
d) principles of organization
e) behavior and activities of supervisors
f) definition of tasks
g) delegation of responsibility

QP Quality of personnel

Employees had not been adequate for their task:

a) not knowing what and how to do their job
b) insufficient experience
c) insufficient instruction
d) improper fundamental capacity

See also FE (Fault Provoking Environment)

SA Safety for persons and things

Missing, malfunctioning or inadequate equipment and procedures for:

a) safety
d) protection
c) warning
d) alerting
e) rescuing and emergencies

HK Housekeeping

Missing or inadequate care to keep the workspace and ground clean, orderly and clear

Concerning conditions of work place see also FE (Fault Provoking Environment)

FE Fault provoking environment

Condition of the environment and of the persons working in this area provokes faults:

a) Physical conditions of the work place (e.g. temperature, noise)
b) presense of permanent physical of psychologic conditions of the persons working in this place

Concerning a) the ergonomic condition see also PP (Process and Plant), b) the qualification of personnel see also QP (Quality of Personnel), and c) Housekeeping see also (HK)

CG Conflicting tasks

Conflicts existing when choosing between:

a) that solution, appearing optimum under the present conditions and rules
b) and the present demands regarding production situation, delivery promise, financial, political, social and personal demand

See also PP (Process and Plant) and MM (Maintenance Management)

CP Condition of Plant

Plant equipment, tools, appliances:

a) quality had been from the beginning on inadequate
b) condition had deteriorated compared with the original one
c) quality and/or  condition did not meet the present demands

See also MM (Maintenance Management)

Please be informed, Grothus’ BRF’s are different in his English and German versions of this page. I deliberately did not try to unify them. As far as I can see, the English version was the latest. 

Same cause provokes defects all over your organization

If you eliminate one Basic Risk Factor you also prevent all different types of quality defects, that it might provoke.

Do you have problems finding and categorizing your Failure Causes? 

Seeing root-causes is not easy. Contact an OEE Coach expert to teach you; we offer Root Cause Analysis workshops that teach your team while solving an actual problem.