Project Briefs

Root Cause Analysis


Capability Summary

• Interview of personnel involved in the incident and development of timelines

• Development of Root Cause Analysis plans

• Formulation of Root Cause Analysis team

• Management of analysis expertise

• Forensic Engineering

• Data analysis

• Issuance of Root Cause report including lessons learned recommendations


Description of Capabilities

During the course of conducting normal business such as facility operations or construction, companies can experience problems such as equipment failure, design problems and, in the worst case, personnel injury. Upon investigation, there are typically multiple causes of such incidents. Merrimac has developed a program in line with standard root cause methodology for establishing the causes of an incident in order to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.


Merrimac first interviews personnel involved in the incident to reconstruct events as best as possible. Merrimac then establishes a base timeline delineating the events that occurred in sequence.


A fishbone analysis to provide a baseline list of failures and possible causes is prepared. The appropriate expertise in the various critical areas is brought in to analyze samples and/or data as required to support or discard timeline events and incident theories. Samples are also sent out to labs for analysis. Sample data along with other information is utilized to either update the fishbone analysis or support/discard theories on the causes.


From this information, a root cause analysis report is generated summarizing the findings and providing a set of recommendations to prevent a similar incident from occurring.



• Formalized approach to root cause analysis.

• Personnel with experience in performing root cause analysis.

• Established relationships with outside organizations capable of supporting root cause analysis depending on the expertise required.


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