Corrective Action Vs. Preventive Action - Difference Between Corrective And Preventive Action

Corrective action and preventive action are often used interchangeably or used as a single term CAPA (Corrective Action Preventive Action) by some people. Such pronunciations confuse the general public and sometimes the new safety officers or other engineers. Both require identification of the unsafe condition/act or problem but there is a difference between corrective and preventive action which shall be understood well.

A corrective action is when there is something wrong i.e. the problem exists, and a corrective step has been taken for the same. For example rectification of an unsafe condition at a particular place is a corrective action.

A preventive

action is to identify probable risks and take such actions that the problem/risk doesn’t occur. Preventive action may be taken before the problem originates at a particular place.

In simple words it may be said that corrective action prevents a problem from re-occurring while preventive action prevents a problem from occurring.

For example a fire incident took place when a welder was welding at height and the combustible material was not removed from the workplace. During investigation the problems identified were: -

1.        The welder was an outsourced employee (contractor employee)

/> 2.        He had no knowledge of hot work safety i.e. no safety training had been imparted to him

There were other findings too however not all are worth mentioning here. The corrective action taken was to train that employee for hot work safety and strengthen the hot work procedures so that none such incidents repeat in future.

Preventive action is where the hazards have been identified prior to the problem took place. For example implementation of hot work permit system ensures there are no hot work incidents should take place at the site. 

Both corrective action and preventive action are important towards implementation of safety standards and form a part of the safety audit procedures as well. Safety management system is best supported if both these are treated separately and major focus is upon the preventive action than corrective action though both are important.

Article Written By archit

I write because I like writing and hope that someone benefits from the things I have learned from my teachers and the learned people I have met so far. The purpose here is not to attract any requests for horoscope analysis but just to share the thoughts. Astrology and spiritual matters are my areas of interest.

Last updated on 25-07-2016 260 0

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