Human Error

Human error does not have a place in Quality Systems

When investigating customer complaints or noncompliances I often find that customers enter as the root cause “Human Error”. I always react by saying, emphatically, that there is no such thing as Human Error? At first there is usually some surprise at this. Now I think they do it because they like to see my reaction. It always starts a discussion.

So why is there no such thing as Human Error. If Human Error is attributed as a reason you are saying that there is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening again. “We are all human”. “We all make mistakes” “These things happen” “Accept that it happened”.

Why accept it? The error might only have cost you a bit of time to correct but it will probably happen again and again and again, costing you time again and again and again. So why not try and fix it?

There is always a way to address an issue, a “Corrective Action”. Always! Some may cost £1,000,000 to correct but there will be a solution. On the other hand the solution may only cost a bit of time to train someone, or to review and revise a process to prevent the issue from recurring.

I get involved with a lot of investigations to identify the actual root cause of a problem whether from a customer complaint, internal audit or an everyday occurrence. I also spend a lot of time training people to investigate issues to determine the root cause of an issue and a corrective action to deal with the root cause.

Please contact us if human error is something that you find you have to deal with and would like a change to find the real root cause, 01434 230580.