Root Cause of the Surfside Condo Collapse: Failed Risk Management

Last month, a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida collapsed, killing dozens of people. It will take years to determine the cause. Or will it?

In risk management, a ‘root cause’ is a factor, condition or chain of events that causes the emergence of a risk.

The use of the term ‘root’ signals the possibility that the problem may be deep, basic or hidden from view.

A car won’t start. Which is the root cause?

Why? — The battery is dead. Why? — The alternator is not functioning. Why? — The alternator belt broke. Why? — The belt went well beyond its useful service life and was not replaced. Why? — The car was not maintained properly.

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