Operationally Induced Events (OIEs)
Know Who is Damaging Your Assets By
David Tod Geaslin
8% and 60%
8% of your
operators are directly responsible for
60% of your maintenance dollars spent.
I have been involved in the management of maintenance for over 40 years and
have measured this statement many times and it holds true.
I have come to this statement by tracking Operationally Induced Events
(OIEs) which are maintenance events that were not caused by the normal
operation of the asset. If an asset came to harm by an operator, tenant,
student, designer, or some other outside force it was classified as an OIE.
The maintenance department did not cause the problem but was tasked to
correct the problem.
This number has been derived using failure analysis and includes only causes
of maintenance that were proven to have been impacted, over sped, over
temped, dropped, under specíd, or intentionally operated to failure.
By tracking OIEs as a simple check box on the work order (WO), a maintenance
department can isolate the causes of machine or facility failures and
attribute the failure to a specific person, procedure, or policy. Once a
dollar value has been attached to the cause of the maintenance event, the
leadership can create a remedy.
This very large dollar amount is usually a modest number of work orders but
each has a very high dollar value. Let me break down these numbers further.
Of the 8%:
The Top 4%
These operators do
not understand what they are doing wrong. They have not been properly
trained. They want to do the job right but do not know how. By tracking OIEs
the organization can create one-on-one training events to correct a specific
behavior or change a procedure. This is called Training on the Job (TOJ) and
is considered to be the most effective form of procedural training. TOJ
should not be confused with On the Job Training (OJT) where a worker is
allowed to make mistakes until they get it right. OJT has many bad legal
ramifications. This 4% is usually very happy to correct their behavior
because they want to improve.
The Other 4%
Of the remaining 4%, these people do not care about the organization or the
assets. Fortunately, half of them are willing to change their behavior to
keep their jobs. They change because they know their behavior is being
tracked with a dollar value.
The Bottom 2%
The bottom 2%, they
do not care and never will and will continue to wreck your facilities,
buildings, and equipment and your maintenance department will never be able
to keep up with the damage they do. These people think that they are
protected. They are husbands or wives or brothers or sisters or sons or
daughters or lovers or golfing buddies or fishing partners or whatever of
someone in power and think they do not have to be held accountable for their
negligent actions. I have seen people hold threatened litigation over the
organization for perceived wrongs. And, I have seen some just plain olí bad
people who are so bitter they have to strike out in any direction.
Quick ID Results
When OIEs and dollar values are tracked, it doesnít take 90 days to identify
the people who are responsible for destroying the organizationís assets.
Even in an organization where it is difficult to release a people, a person
who has been identified as a threat to the facilities, machines, vehicles,
or safety can be moved to a task where they pose no threat to the
organization or safety.
Exact ROI on Training
There is one other significant advantage to tracking OIEs. Once the dollar
value for a certain type of behavior is known, that is exactly how much you
can spend on training to make the problem go away.
feeding kittens for example. One organization had a lady who worked in one
of the medical laboratories and had taken up the cause of feeding stray
kittens around the building. Eventually she was putting out about 100 pounds
of cat food a month to take care of the poor kitties.
Her intentions were good, unfortunately, she was also creating a food magnet
that attracted rats, raccoons, opossums, and armadillos. The maintenance
department was constantly filling in holes dug by armadillos under the
sidewalk near the food source to mitigate possible ankle injuries.
The health department was worried about rabid animals being attracted, rat
infestations, and fleas. The maintenance department had tried for years to
get her to stop, yet the woman would not stop feeding the cats no matter how
many times she was asked. The maintenance effort required to remedy this
feeding of cats was clearly not the fault of maintenance, yet maintenance
was expending precious resources to clean up the mess.
When I asked why she thought she was protected it became known that she was
the wife of a very important director elsewhere on the campus and could not
be fired. It was decided that the Operationally Induced Event (OIE) should
It didnít take long before the cats and rats penetrated the basement of the
medical building and it had to be cleaned out and fumigated for fleas.
At the next quarterly meeting the WOs were shown to the medical building
department director and that the feeding of cats had cost his department
$13,000 in grounds maintenance and fumigation costs.
The feeding of cats stopped
immediately after that.
Without tracking OIEs and assigning a dollar value to the cost of feeding
stray cats, this behavior would have been unmanageable by the maintenance
OIE Tracking Benefits
Tracking OIEs allows an organization to identify the specific individuals
who are causing damage to the facilities and assets AND allows targeted
training to make the behavior go away AND provides an exact Return on
Investment (ROI) for the training.
Identifying and managing the 8% can make a very significant improvement in
the operational readiness of an organization and reduce the maintenance