Workplace accidents can lead to serious injury or death of workers. Many of these accidents are caused by human error. A human error is an unintentional action or decision. Factors that contribute to human error include workload, overconfidence, complacency, stress, rushing, noise, horseplay, disregard for safety, drug and alcohol use, fatigue, distraction, mismanagement, and poor training.

Discussion Points:
• Many workplace accidents are the result of human error
• Factors that contribute to human error
• Manage workers’ performance
• Proper employee training can help reduce human error
• Corrective and preventive actions

According to recent studies, 80 to 90 percent of serious injuries are caused by human error. Implementing control measures is an important principle in managing human error. Reducing human error should be a priority of every company. Managing workers’ performance is important in preventing and controlling work-related risks. When addressing human factors in health and safety, the process should include risk assessment which involves identifying work hazards and managing and reducing human error. This involves worker training and personal development and implementing safety practices. Understanding human behavior is important to minimize human error. This involves observing and monitoring the behavior of workers. The risk from human factors cannot be fully eliminated from a workplace. However, providing proper employee training can help reduce human error by improving competency. Workers should understand the impact human error has on safety, production, and employee wellness. Regulatory compliance training courses and modules that directly address workplace and situational awareness increase workers’ knowledge base.

Training should cover all aspects of the job, good procedures, and an ongoing process with regularly scheduled safety training meetings. When human error causes an accident, corrective and preventive actions should be established, including procedures for collecting and evaluating data for the root cause. After the root cause is detected, corrective action can be implemented to limit downtime through maintenance and training.

As always, stay safe out there!