If you are the operational manager in one of the manufacturing facilities around the country, you already understand that human error is one of the leading causes of losses in various companies. Studies show that human error is responsible for more than 90% of all work-related accidents. Manufacturing facilities do not only experience workplace-related accidents but also record major problems associated with human errors.
Your ultimate goal is to make sure that accident prevention procedures are incorporated into the operations of the company so that you can reduce human errors. Reducing human errors is a strategic approach that involves the use of human error reduction tools, some of which have been discussed below.
1. Checklists and Procedures
Some of the common human error reduction tools that operational managers can incorporate in manufacturing facilities are the use of checklists and procedures. These are guidelines that restrict employees into following specific and necessary steps when handling various activities within the company. By having checklists and procedures, the human errors of omission and commission are greatly reduced. Checklists and procedures are essential error reduction tools because they breakdown complex tasks into simpler and smaller chunks.
2. Error Recovery Strategy
Error recovery strategies provide another option of human error reduction tools that do not address the source of the error but highlight what should happen after errors occur in the operations of the company. Most of the companies concentrate on how to prevent human errors only for them to be caught out by critical situations that they cannot solve. Having error recovery strategies provides a reliable direction that a company should follow after disasters. Employees should learn how to bounce back from mistakes using error recovery strategies.
3. Employee Training
The best human error reduction tools lie in providing comprehensive training drills that equip employees with all the necessary skills and knowledge that will enable them to handle all the activities within the plant. Studies show that most of the errors occur due to a lack of knowledge, skills, and experience. Regular training and on the job training will play a critical role in preventing human errors. It is common knowledge that a new employee is likely to cause obvious errors as compared to employees who have been in the company for many years.
4. Open Communication
Human error reduction tools will never work if there is no open communication in the company. All details need to be put forward through a written form and through word of mouth. Communication is a necessary tool in reducing human errors because it helps eliminate attention failures, which are very common in manufacturing companies. Good manufacturing practices can only be passed from one person to the other. Therefore, there should be open and candid communication that creates a conducive environment for all employees to ask questions.
5. Error Investigations
Human error reduction tools should also include human error investigations. As an operational manager, you should conduct detailed investigations to determine the cause of errors in your manufacturing plant. Conducting investigations is an advisable tool, especially when a specific human error has been re-occurring. You need to assess the skills and experience of your employees while at the same time testing the suitability of your manufacturing plant. Error investigations will help you to come up with a conclusive solution to your persistent problem.
6. Close Supervision
If you have conducted a thorough investigation and discovered that your employees are susceptible to human errors, you need to supervise them. Close supervision erodes confidence and may create mistrust, but it could be the only tool that can help you to avoid human errors. If you are practicing close supervision as a means of dealing with human errors, you must be in the production line and not just in the back office.
Human errors will always occur in manufacturing plants leading to extreme losses and sometimes workplace accidents. However, with the best human error reduction tools, as discussed above, you will be able to minimize errors in your organization and ultimately reducing waste and accidents.