[Key words]Mistake prevention; Defects; Control type; Warning type; Source control
We often find ourselves in situations in our daily lives, such as coming home and suddenly realising that we forgot to buy something at the supermarket, or arriving at work only to find that we have left important documents at home. People often wonder why things like this happen. It is often said that no one is without fault and that all people can make mistakes. This is also true in the workplace. The process of manufacturing, using and maintaining a product cannot be done without the involvement of people, and due to various factors, just as machines can break down, people can make mistakes too. Forgetting to do a job, not doing a job in the right order or in the right way, doing a job incorrectly, etc. are all examples of what we call human error.
So, is there any way to reduce or avoid these human errors? Can human error be prevented? How can they be prevented? Mr Shingeo Shingo, a Japanese quality management expert and founder of the famous Toyota Production System, pioneered the concept of “poka-yoke“, or error prevention technology, based on his long experience in on-site quality improvement.
The so-called error-proofing technology is a technology that prevents or rather avoids the occurrence of errors and makes it impossible to make mistakes when the technology and methods are used. Error-proofing is a technology, moreover a concept, which is an important means of achieving automated production. Through the use of error-proofing devices, mainly including through the redesign and optimisation of tooling, workplaces and work methods, to achieve a purpose, which is to eliminate errors caused by human factors, before the fault occurs can be prevented before it happens, whoever is able to complete the work accurately, even new operators will not make mistakes, so that people can easily follow the correct order and method to do the right thing, it is easy to do the right thing. It’s easy to get the job done right, so that it’s impossible to do it wrong the first time!
I believe that it is impossible for human beings to eliminate all mistakes. In fact, errors caused by negligence are inevitable. Errors do not necessarily result in defects as long as they are fed back and corrected at the stage when they start to appear.” It seems that errors and defects are different, what is the relationship between them? A defect is the result of an error and an error is the cause of a defect. For example, if you forget to turn off the gas and the meal burns, the error is forgetting to turn off the gas and the result of the defect is that the meal burns. It is also important to note here that not all errors necessarily lead to defects. In the same example, forgetting to turn off the gas is a mistake, but does forgetting to turn off the gas always result in a burnt meal? Not necessarily, but if you forget to turn the gas off but catch it in time, the meal may not be burnt. In other words, not all mistakes will lead to defects if they are properly prevented. This shows that the root of error prevention is actually to reduce or avoid defects by preventing or controlling the occurrence of errors, i.e. source control.