Human error is inevitable, but it can have a serious impact when it occurs in manufacturing and other industries. In areas like pharmaceuticals, the oil industry, and aviation, the consequences of error can be dangerous. This is why managers, engineers, and compliance officers are concerned with understanding the occurrence of human error as well as methods of minimizing it. Human error reduction tools can help to counteract its effects and minimize any harm or damage it might cause.
What are the results of human error?
Human error is a common cause of problems in manufacturing and other industries. In fields like aviation and the oil industry, its consequences can be dangerous. In most situations, it leads to loss of quality and even production down time while mistakes are fixed. In fact, about 23% of all unplanned down time in manufacturing is due to human error. Mistakes can be dangerous as well, and 90% of workplace accidents are caused by human error.
Even if there are no accidents, mistakes can affect the overall quality of production. There are also regulatory and compliance goals to be met because of safety concerns. Human error investigations can be used to identify its causes and develop training and procedures to prevent it.
Types of human error
Understanding human error is the first step in limiting and even eliminating it. Active human error is of three types, according to a typology developed by the the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). These are slips and lapses, mistakes, and violations. Errors can begin as early as the design stage, and in the operational stage, cognitive load errors play an important part.
For example, workers frequently feel that their tasks are not clearly defined. As many as 46% report that they leave meetings without a clear understanding of the work they are expected to do next. From both a regulatory and business point of view, it is important to understand human error and to offer human error reduction training to employees. Managers, engineers, QA/QC, and compliance staff can all benefit from human error prevention training.
How to prevent human error in manufacturing
Even though some human error is inevitable, there are several tried and tested human error reduction tools that can help to prevent errors. These include controlling variables like procedures, training, and workplace environment. All of these affect the behavior of workers and they can be modified to prevent the likelihood of errors.
To develop human error reduction tools, it is necessary to understand both human behavior and the psychology of error. Human error prevention tools must also take into account systems weaknesses and how they can be fixed. Human error reduction tools can include methods to identify and measure error, and establish key performance indicators.
Human error in manufacturing and other industries can lead to costly, time-consuming, and even dangerous mistakes. It can affect the quality of production and also impact workplace safety. From both a business and regulatory point of view, human error reduction tools and training can help to reduce and even eliminate the possibility of errors.