Strategists in Human Capital!
Affinity International Consulting presents Futurepoint

Thursday, July 19, 2018

How To Reduce Human Errors


How To Reduce Human Errors


The Culture Perspective by Karen Zimmermann on Tuesday the 10th of July, 2018.


How To Reduce Human Errors ; The Culture Perspective

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if someone has the courage to admit them.” - Bruce Lee


People make mistakes. We always have and we always will. To be able to answer the question “How To Reduce Human Errors?”, you’ll first need to know WHY we are making mistakes.

Why are we making mistakes?

1. Physiology You may be fatigued, have a low physical condition, feel stressed, have issues at home or you are used to certain routines.

2. Environment Many people require your attention (distraction), the systems are outdated, there is not enough light, the temperature is too high or too low or you are afraid to honestly report issues due to the organizational culture.

3. Task You may have insufficient experience, received incomplete information, are responsible but not authorized to make decisions, or there is a mismatch between the person and the task. The reason why we are making mistakes is that….. we are human beings. You don’t go to work thinking “Today, I feel like making a mistake”. Instead, you go to work, and many different issues require your attention. When trying to solve human errors, we tend to look at the “easy to solve” reasons. You update the procedure, train personnel. Thankfully, this is no longer accepted by the regulatory authorities.

But how do you do proper Human Error Reduction?

The complexity of Human Errors I would like you to meet Brian (not his real name). Brian is a line operator. With his salary and bonus, he provides for his wife and children. Last week, he had a tough conversation with his supervisor. He was disappointed in Brian’s output. Overwhelmed by this pressure, John’s team had missed a blue capsule during line clearance. He noticed this tablet during manufacturing of the next batch; Isotretinoin red/orange colored soft capsules. In a split second, he picked up the capsule and placed it aside. He continued manufacturing without reporting the incident. Of course, this is not acceptable. Brian should have informed his supervisor, a deviation report should have been initiated and followed by a thorough investigation. Yet, his choice is understandable. Reporting this line clearance issue would have resulted in a deviation on Brian’s name, less output and financial consequences affecting his family. The story of Brian is illustrating the complexity of human error reduction. Brian has indicated several times that the old machines are very difficult to clean. It is impossible to guarantee that no tablets or capsules have been overlooked. Yet, no real preventive action has been taken other than additional training and long painstaking checklists. Insufficient torches and mirrors to properly inspect the machines, result in losing time searching for materials. And on that specific day, he also had a massive headache, and not feeling at ease due to his supervisor’s warnings. Conclusion? Brian’s story is not unique. At PCS, this is what we see happening in most organizations: updating procedures hoping it solves the problem. But human error reduction is complex and challenging, it is part of the organizational culture. It requires leadership and an atmosphere of openness and honesty. And as Brian said later on “I do understand that not all issues can be solved at once. But being part of improving the process and getting support makes me feel responsible.” How to continue? You may wish to answer the following questions about your organization: How do we look at human errors? As a symptom, or as errors that should be removed as soon as possible? Are human errors openly discussed and welcomed as opportunities to improve the system? Are managers and supervisors trained on human psychology?

Kind regards, Karen Zimmermann

No comments:

Post a Comment


Sample list of colleges, our clients have attended.

Process Overview

Continual Professional Development

We provide comprehensive continual professional development to professional associations auch as The Irish Law Society, Institute of Engineers of Ireland, The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and other leading professional associations.

Questions to ask Yourself

Drop us your email

In return, as a valued client, we will provide you with discount vouchers on select upcoming programmes. You will also receive advance purchase notification on "high demand" master class programmes.

Email:




Please note that we take your privacy seriously

Specialist Training

If you are a Corporate entity, SME, or a "not for profit" organisation with a specific niche training requirement, please contact us.

With our extensive national and world-wide network of training consultants, we are able to identify, source and fully arrange your training completely in line with your requirements.

Strategic Management

Strategic Management

We are very proud to deliver the only short course on strategic management available in Ireland. This course has been designed to be delivered in house and is specifically tailored for the Irish multi national IDA high value manufacturing and services sector. The programme is delivered over 20 hours as an integrated format over modules decided by the client. Strategy only works when everyone is on the same page and for this reason we offer this programme for each management forum to take advantage of this unique opportunity. It is fundamental knowledge that companies that have a strong foundation and understanding of strategy and how it shapes future sustainable success are the business units that achieve prolonged success within the greater company structure. Simply put, the business unit that talks the language of the CEO attracts the greatest interest and capital input. Success is always built on strategy. See a sample of our strategic training work.
Providing management solutions and training through consultancy contracts in operations and HR management.
Website by: Déise Design