The vast majority of manufacturing errors are human errors. To reduce manufacturing errors and increase the efficiency of your production line, limit the mistakes workers make and ensure that the same mistakes aren’t made more than once. Here are four expert tips to help you minimize manufacturing errors on your production floor.
Provide Step-by-Step Instructions
No matter how competent or well-trained an employee may be, they’ll still have mental lapses every once in a while. To help your workers avoid freezing up or making costly errors, have instructions detailing the steps to complete each task available to all employees. Have these steps on signs or posters near work stations if possible, or at least have instructions available for reference on demand.
Keep the Floor Supervised
Another way to reduce human error is to provide adequate supervision throughout the work day. Supervisors often spend too much time in their offices when they should really be out on the floor doing their jobs. It’s important to make sure that your supervisors aren’t just diligent about their work, but are also willing to listen to any concerns employees have and help resolve them as quickly as possible.
Keep Employees Safe
Employee safety is often overlooked as a factor influencing efficiency in manufacturing, but research shows that facilities are less efficient and human errors are more likely to occur if employees feel unsafe in their work environment. This is why maintaining safe working conditions is a business management issue as well as a moral and legal issue. Probably the most important precaution you can take is to make sure all equipment receives regular maintenance and that process coolers are in use to ensure that in-use machines don’t overheat. Otherwise, production line employees will have to work in fear of a potentially crippling or even deadly workplace accident.
Encourage Workers to Report Errors
Instead of vilifying simple errors, encourage your employees to report any mistakes without fear of reprisals. When an employee reports an error, use it as a learning opportunity to check if other workers know the correct process, and avoid punishing them for small mistakes—doing so will only make them afraid to report. Another benefit of having employees report their errors is that you can record each incident and see if there are any recurring errors. If there are, you can adjust your facility’s prevention programs to address the most common problems.
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds