How to Prevent Human Error in Manufacturing
Manufacturing errors are costly and can impede your operations substantially. Even a single manufacturing error can set you back millions of dollars, especially if you manufacture products in bulk. Most of the errors in manufacturing are a result of human errors.
In the Drug and Device Manufacturing Industry, human error accounts for more than 80% of the problems. As a manager, these statistics shouldn’t worry you. Instead, you should find out how to prevent human error in manufacturing to keep your operations running smoothly. Luckily, there are several effective strategies for reducing human errors in your workplace.
Here’s how to prevent human error in manufacturing.
1. Avoid Blame Shifting
When an error happens in your manufacturing industry, you may be lead to focus on who caused the error rather than how and why the errors happened. As a manager, it’s easy to tirade the worker or workers responsible for the manufacturing error. However, this is largely ineffective because you should instead focus on how and why the error happened. By investigating why and how the error happened, you can seal the loopholes and avoid similar errors in the future. You’ll be able to identify if the error was systemic, caused by poor workmanship, or a worker misreading or misinterpreting work instructions.
A human error investigation will point out the root cause of the errors. When you identify what happened, you’ll be able to put the right systems in place to prevent future errors. Conversely, when you take the blame approach, you’ll not address the root cause, and a different employee may make the same error. When figuring how to prevent human error in manufacturing, avoid taking the blame approach.
2. Focus on Human Error Reduction Training
Basically, there are two main types of human error- mistakes and skill-based errors. Mistakes are either rule-based or knowledge-based, while skill-based errors occur through lapses of memory and slips of action. Gmp training for error prevention ensures that your employees have the right skillsets through quality training. Hence, they are less prone to skill-based errors. When all your factory workers are aware of the best manufacturing practices, they’ll be more conscious of the rules, which will help them avoid making mistakes.
In the long run, when all your employees undergo error prevention training, you’ll have fewer errors in your manufacturing operations. When manufacturing errors happen on rare occasions, they’ll not be as severe because your workers will detect the errors quickly and initiate corrective measures right away. A well-trained workforce will save your business millions of dollars that would otherwise be lost through human errors.
3. Develop and Maintain an Effective Communication Channel
Even beyond the manufacturing industry, ineffective communication is a thorn in the flesh of most companies. However, the consequences are direr in the manufacturing industry. Implementing a clear communication channel in your company should be one of the first strategies you plan for when deciphering how to prevent human error in manufacturing.
For your manufacturing operations to run smoothly, all the teams involved must communicate clearly. When workers in different departments work in sync, there’ll be fewer chances of manufacturing errors occurring. A proper and effective communication channel will also facilitate knowledge and skill transfer between employees. This way, the new and less experienced workers will catch up easily and integrate smoothly into the workforce.
Additionally, clear communication channels enable workers in different shifts to communicate promptly. This eases the transition and transfer of duties among teams working different shifts. A good number of manufacturing errors happen during transition. Implementing a proper communication channel will subsequently prevent such errors.
As a manager, it’s upon you to find the best ways of implementing human error prevention strategies in your manufacturing industry. Luckily, you can consult a company that offers human error prevention tools and solutions. Such a company will also offer GMP (good manufacturing practices) training for error prevention and help you roll out effective human error prevention strategies in your workplace.