Preventive Action Effectiveness - How can any preventive action be 'proven'?



Preventive Action Effectiveness

Okay, I live in a mobile home. We all know they are magnets for tornados, so I develop a preventive action, in which I duct tape empty Spam cans to the home’s exterior. How could I prove the effectiveness of the preventive action? How can any preventive action be “proven”?


Fully vaccinated are you?
Point well taken. I can't argue against it. I sure would love to hear some examples of proof of effectiveness of a preventive action. This could turn out to be an interesting thread. :thedeal:



The only "proof" of effectiveness in a preventive action is that it never happens.

In the example, if a tornado tears through the area and the mobile home shows no ill effects, that would be enough "proof" enough for me.



Quite Involved in Discussions
I agree with D Scott. If it has not happened,it may have been effective. If the PA is a result of a trend, then you would see the trend reverse. That is, if you see trends as a source for PA


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If you are into this kind of thing, FMEAs can help evaluate the preventive action by showing a reduced RPN.


I wouldn't accept it as "preventive action" just because the tornado didn't hit it unless you could somehow prove that the action taken was thought out, planned, and had a basis in actual liklihood of success.

If you had done research that showed that metal attached to the mobile home would reduce tornado strikes, and that spam cans had the particular shape that was most likely to be effective, and then in a situation with potential for a tornado to hit the trailer (as Dave suggested) the tornado avoided the trailer, ....Then I would accept it as preventive action.

Preventive action must somehow be tied to the event. I can't say that having a box of tissues on my desk is preventive action for getting neck strain reading this little laptop screen. They are unrelated.

First prove the relationship. Then take the action. Then measure success by the event never occurring or being less severe than typical.

So this would be FMEA, as SteelMaiden suggests, right?

-Trend reversal I would see more as a corrective action since you would be changing something already in existence.


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We all have seen those looming "accidents waiting to happen". I hear people coming up with PAs all the time. "ya know, if we decrease xxxxxx at this point, we can reduce our risk of having yyyyy happen" The definition of preventive is to keep it from happening, therefore you are dealing with possibilities not actualities. Will we ever know for sure that the situation would or would not have happened? nope, all we can do is assess the posibilities through statistics, knowledge and previous experience, or the phase of the moon. Whatever we use, we just need to have our ducks in a row and be able explain why.

Something like being on the debate team in high school, you never know if you'll be arguing pro or con.

Have a good one!


Part II

I use my “mobile home” scenario in classes all of the time. My contention is that you cannot “prove” preventive actions, just because the event you are trying to prevent doesn’t occur. If you correlate the lack of event occurrence with the opportunities for occurrence, then you are closer. I agree with Lucinda and Steel Maiden. It does bring out some good discussions though!

Now, if I could only get roadkill in the scenario.....:biglaugh:

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
The assumption thus far is that a preventive action leads to a reduced negative event (lower RPN) or a nuetral event (never happened but as gpainter points out, do we really need it?). Can a Preventive Action lead to improvement and can that improvement be measured?



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