These are two terms that often get confused. We have had numerous facilities submit their “corrective actions” when in fact they only sent in a correction. So, let’s break down these terms into simple definitions.
Correction: The immediate fix.
Corrective Action: Programs or steps put in place to prevent issues from reoccurring. Often, root cause analysis is conducted and is necessary to determine why the issue occurred.
Here are some real world examples to show the difference:
No Receiving Dates on Incoming Materials
Correction: Added receiving dates on all of the pallets currently in storage.
Corrective Action: Retrained all receiving personnel on how to properly place receiving dates on incoming materials. The stock rotation policy was updated to generate aged inventory reports to not only inspect any materials in storage for more than 30 days for insect activity, but also for proper receiving date placement. The monthly self-inspection program was updated to include a line item that personnel visually checked receiving dates on pallets in storage. As part of the daily operational checks, the transferring of raw materials procedure was updated to ensure that receiving dates were visible on all materials still on pallets, and to notify a supervisor if these dates were not present. All personnel involved in these programs were retrained on the new procedures.
Root Cause: The facility hired new receivers and they did not get trained on the procedures.
Shipping Dock Door Was Damaged and Not Tagged Out
Correction: The contracted door service was called in to repair the door.
Corrective Action: The dock door inspection frequency on the preventive maintenance schedule was increased from twice a year to quarterly. Dock door checks were included in the daily housekeeping and safety checks for the shipping department. If any issues were found, they will document this on the check sheet and notify the supervisor. The shipping personnel were retrained on these new procedures. The contract for the pest control company was updated to include monthly door checks. If a door was found damaged, the pest control company would notify the sanitation manager and submit a work request. The contracted security service updated its procedures to not only ensure that the doors were closed at night, but also to ensure no doors were damaged. If a door was found damaged, the guard was to notify the maintenance supervisor on call.
Root Cause: Facility personnel and security teams were only trained on ensuring that the doors were closed and not to look for damaged doors.
The Overheads in Packaging Were Found With Heavy Dust Accumulations
Correction: The plant shut down over the weekend and sanitation crews cleaned the overheads.
Corrective Action: The master cleaning schedule (MCS) frequency was increased from once per year to twice per year. The quarterly overhead light inspection was updated to now include a check for cleaning issues in the surrounding overhead areas. If any issues were noted the sanitation manager must also be notified. Maintenance personnel conducting these light inspections were trained on the new procedure.
Root Cause: The facility added a new packaging line and this has created additional dust.