If you’re wondering how to prevent human error in workplace situations, let’s take a page out of some recent, fairly disturbing news.
Human error results in more than 80% of problems in both the Drug and Device Manufacturing Industry. Sometimes human error is purely accidental, something that can be rectified through human error investigations and improvements in the professional atmosphere; human error prevention tools like CAPA training online, among others.
What these courses can’t fight against is cake.
“It is a normal thing for people to bring cakes to work and for other people to eat them,” quoted Judge Nevin Dawson when passing down a 22-year prison sentence to 58-year-old Graham Jones.
Jones had brought a cake to work. The cake he bought was laced heavily with marijuana and he didn’t tell anyone. Predictably, people ate the cake that was sitting in the breakroom and everything went downhill from there. Memory failures seem a little more excusable when people are unwittingly consuming a potent psychoactive substance disguised as a delicious snack.
Being a factory, the employees were working with dangerous equipment and heavy machinery, but soon they knew something was wrong. Terrified, nine people were hospitalized because they didn’t know what was happening to them as the powerful edibles took hold. One woman thought she was having a heart attack. Nobody was injured, but the incident could’ve had much more dire consequences.
Jones, who eventually admitted to being a regular cannabis user to combat pain following a cancer operation, never meant to hurt anyone but had to answer for his confectionery creativity. Citing a high level a premeditation, the judge admonished him:
“Your offending had a very high potential for harm because it happened in a workplace that uses heavy machinery and equipment … workmates would have had no reason to suspect there was anything wrong with eating that cake.”
Mounting a human error investigation in circumstances like this resolve themselves a bit quicker. After the investigation and sentencing, Jones’ sentence was reduced because he submitted an early guilty plea. Still, he’ll have to serve those 22 months.
Not all human error follows this path, but we think this is one he’ll be certain not to repeat.