Cause Analysis Manual

Cause Analysis Manual

Incident Investigation Method & Techniques

Fred Forck, CPT, Kristen Noakes-Fry, ABCI


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A failure or accident brings your business to a sudden halt. How did it happen? What’s at the root of the problem? What keeps it from happening again? Good detective work is needed -- but how do you go about it? In this new book, industry pioneer Fred Forck’s seven-step cause analysis methodology guides you to the root of the incident, enabling you to act effectively to avoid loss of time, money, productivity, and quality.

From 30+ years of experience as a performance improvement consultant, self-assessment team leader, and trainer, Fred Forck, CPT, understands what you need to get the job done. He leads you through a clear step-by-step process of root cause evaluation, quality improvement, and corrective action. Using these straightforward tools, you can avoid errors, increase reliability, enhance performance, and improve bottom-line results -- while creating a resilient culture that avoids repeat failures. The key phases of this successful cause analysis include:

  • Scoping the Problem
  • Investigating the Factors
  • Reconstructing the Story
  • Establishing Contributing Factors
  • Validating Underlying Factors
  • Planning Corrective Actions
  • Reporting Learnings

At each stage, Cause Analysis Manual: Incident Investigation Method and Techniques gives you a wealth of real-world examples, models, thought-provoking discussion questions, and ready-to-use checklists and forms.

The author provides:

  • references for further reading
  • hundreds of illustrative figures, tables, and diagrams
  • a full glossary of terms and acronyms
  • professional index

You know that identifying causes and preventing business-disrupting events isn’t always easy. By following Fred Forck’s proven steps you will be able to identify contributing factors, align organizational behaviors, take corrective action, and improve business performance!

Are you a professor or leader of seminars or workshops? On confirmed course adoption of Cause Analysis Manual: Incident Investigation Method and Techniques, you will have access to a comprehensive, professional Instructor’s Manual.


Fred Forck, CPT:

Fred Forck, CPT, is a highly experienced incident investigator and self-assessment team leader who completed a 25-year career at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant in Fulton, MO, in May 2007. He offers a rich array of root cause evaluation, quality assurance, quality improvement, facilitation, and teaching skills — including proven abilities to determine and correct the organizational weaknesses linking multiple adverse business incidents.

In 1982 Fred joined Quality Assurance (QA) at Callaway Nuclear Power Plant while the station was still under construction. As QA training supervisor, Fred developed the initial auditor and lead auditor training for the Callaway plant. He supervised the QA operations support group. As a certified lead auditor, Fred led inspections of vendors, chemistry, health physics, training, environmental monitoring, and corrective action. He also led the first self-assessment of industrial safety at the Callaway plant. At Callaway and at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Stations, Fred developed the root cause analysis (RCA) training programs and compiled root cause manuals for both stations (the latter for Palo Verde’s regulatory recovery). At Callaway, Fred participated on over 90 root cause investigations generally as the lead investigator or the mentor. Besides participating in five common cause analyses, Fred developed and delivered the station’s common cause analysis training. In 1999, Fred participated on a Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) team that benchmarked best corrective action processes in the nuclear industry. Fred’s final position at Callaway was root cause analysis coordinator. He has recent qualifications as a root cause analyst at Palo Verde, Ft. Calhoun, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and Entergy nuclear stations. He was the lead RCA investigator for Fort Calhoun station’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 95002 inspection and qualified as a root cause subject matter expert at TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant to support the NRC’s 95003 inspection. After Duke Energy completed its merger with Progress Energy in 2012, Fred consolidated the corrective action and cause analysis programs of both utilities into a single set of procedures. His most recent work has been with Entergy Nuclear as an investigator to support the Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) 95003 regulatory recovery and the River Bend Nuclear Generating Station 95001 regulatory recovery.

In 2007, Fred was designated as a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) in accordance with the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI) standards. is certification is a reflection of Fred’s work for over 35 years improving workplace performance by focusing on organizational assessment, incident investigation, continuous improvement, and safety culture.

Kristen Noakes-Fry, ABCI, is Executive Editor at Rothstein Publishing. Previously, she was a Research Director, Information Security and Risk Group, for Gartner, Inc.; Associate Editor at Datapro (McGraw- Hill); and Associate Professor of English at Atlantic Cape College in New Jersey. She holds an M.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Russell Sage College.