Problem > Solution - 5 Why's Analysis
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5 Benefits of the 5 Whys:
- It helps to quickly identify the root cause of a problem.
- It helps to differentiate between the contributing factors of a problem and its root cause(s).
- It helps determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem.
- It can be learned quickly and doesn't require statistical analysis to be used.
When are the 5 Whys most useful?
- When problems involve human factors or interactions.
- In all types of health, safety and environmental situations whether investigating a personal injury or solving the reasons behind an environmental incident.
Example of a 5 Why Analysis.
A worker looses the tip of his finger when it's pinched between a drive belt and an unguarded pulley. The first step is to identify the problem. In our case it's self-evident. Continue to ask WHY about each response to a question and when you are no longer able to answer the question you've likely arrived at a root cause.
#1 Why was the worker's finger crushed?
His finger was caught between a moving pulley and belt.
#2 Why was the finger caught between the pulley and the belt?
The guard on the pulley was missing.
#3 Why was the guard missing?
A mechanic had overlooked replacing it.
#4 Why was it overlooked?
There is no written equipment servicing checklist.
#5 Why is there no checklist?
No hazard assessment was completed.
You can use this free 5 Whys method template 👇
Download a free 5 whys template for your maintenance or reliability activities :