How to Reduce Human Error in the Warehouse

Poor-decision making in the workplace is an inevitable result of human error that is unfortunately very typical among physically demanding labor.

Preventable injuries, costly equipment downtime and poor product quality are contributing factors to profit lost due to human error that occurs in the workplace.

Following Instinct

To prevent these three things from occurring, despite popular belief, adding more rules and tightening procedures only adds complexity to the workplace, increasing the risk of accidents among workers.

Allowing workers to use their instincts during a situation not covered in procedure will allow them to handle the situation in a proactive, safe manner. Practice and personal knowledge should then trump procedure when time-sensitive, situational occurrences arise.

Human error can happen to anyone. Work may never be completely error-free, but by making conscious decisions, human error and failure rates can be decreased significantly.
Decision making must be a constant effort in the workplace to reduce human error, avoid poor decision-making and ultimately increase production.

Always be Mindful

When working in a warehouse, it’s crucial to know your surroundings at all times. Maintain a safe distance away from the edge of the loading dock ramp, listen for vehicles in reverse and always wear a safety helmet when required.

It’s important to know your surroundings at all times to fully understand them and become familiar with the layout.

Even seasoned professionals make poor decisions that result in undesirable outcomes; they aren’t invincible. As a result, it is increasingly important that new hires come to work with the proper knowledge, training and the ability to apply that knowledge to high-risk tasks.

When workers see safety as a necessity, fewer accidents are bound to occur in the workplace.

Tips for Reducing Error-Based Mistakes in the Work Place.

  1. Have the ability to acknowledge and detect poor decision-making. Don’t be afraid to ask a manager of how to efficiently complete a task that is out of your comfort zone or capabilities.
  2. Undesirable outcomes stem from poor decision-making, acknowledge past instances and seek a different solution.
  3. Break the invincibility attitude; systems do not guarantee safety, proper decision-making and safety procedures do.
  4. Safety should be considered the utmost priority amongst all employees. Report repeat violators to management immediately to reduce unnecessary accidents.
  5. If you have to break procedure to guarantee personal safety, do it at your discretion.
  6. Being alert will increase consciousness and promote better decision-making. Exercise caution throughout the entire shift and during every shift to maintain a safe work environment.
  7. Think thoroughly from inception to completion of the final product to know all possible risks along the way.
  8. Remaining proactive about safety will reduce the physical consequences of human error.

Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share? How has human error affected you in the past?

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