Small mistakes can lead to big disasters. Just ask the engineers who were working on the Mars Climate Orbiter. A $327.6 million USD spacecraft was destroyed because of an error converting between units of measurement. Or ask any manufacturer about how they had to shut down an entire production line because of a counting error or a misread label.

Human error is complex and difficult to define. One definition is “a person’s mistake rather than on the failure of a machine”. Another definition is “an action performed by a human that results in something different than expected”. These definitions refer to the individual directly, but human error occurs when there was no harm intended.

According to a study by Vanson Bourne, manufacturers understand the pain of unplanned downtime due to a human error better than any other sector. The study found that 23% of all unplanned downtime in manufacturing is the result of human error. That compared to an average of 9% in other sectors such as oil & gas, energy, medical and logistics.

Furthermore, in the study, it is said that nearly half (45%) of manufacturers realized that there is room for improvement when it comes to preventing problems with assets in their organization. It is also said that over a span of three years, 82% of companies have had at least one incident of unplanned downtime.

So how can we prevent or reduce human errors from occurring?

One thing’s for sure, placing blame on your workers is not helpful. Typically, companies retrain workers after an error occurs, but doesn’t produce the desired result. Lack of training is only 10% of the reason why the human error occurs. Besides training companies instill fear when taking the blaming approach, which doesn’t help either. Fear will only refrain people from coming forward with an issue or concern which would only lead to more errors or failures.

One major way we can address human error is through automation and management systems. By better managing your assets you will be able to make fewer errors and increase wrench time.

If you are looking to improve the functionality of your EAM or CMMS to avoid as many errors as possible NRX AssetHub might be your solution. Organizations that use the NRX AssetHub platform experience increased productivity, increased efficiencies, and cost savings in virtually all aspects of maintenance and operations. If you would like to know how we can help you, book a demo or contact us.


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