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RCA Step 7: Verification

Verification is an often overlooked or incorrectly executed part of the troubleshooting process. All of the root cause identification has been based on the best data available. This greatly increases the odds that the solution is the correct solution - but it does not guarantee a correct solution. In additionshortcomings in the implementation may result in a valid solution being ineffective.

For example, a plant conducted a root cause analysis and determined that the root cause was the lack of lubrication of a bearing with the solution to place the bearing on the lubrication route.

The appropriate entries were made in the computer systems and the problem was felt to be resolved. Unfortunately the verification step chosen was to wait six months and see if the bearing failed. After six months the problem was classed as resolved. Three days after the six month milestone, the bearing failed - because it had not been lubricated. Ultimately it was determined that although the bearing had indeed been added to the computerised route, no one had told that lubricator that the route had changed so he continued to use an old computer printout which told him which bearings to lubricate.

A better verification step (e.g. observe bearing to ensure it had been lubriated or talk to the lube tech to verify that he had lubricated the bearing) would have prevented a very costly repeat failure.

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