In the pharmaceutical industry, deviations are one of the main causes of lost profits. Being high-risk, non-compliances are not tolerated and therefore need to be corrected. This inflicts a loss of turnover on the company. In this context, human errors represent the majority fraction of all errors and malfunctions. In other words, the human factor is the main factor in the occurrence of errors. Let’s find out the details!
What is the human factor?
Any human contribution to the occurrence of an incident is considered a human factor. It can be behavior, abilities, personalities, skills, etc… Know-how, communication and group work skills, knowledge, physical and mental state, etc. are all human factors that can affect work in the plant.
The human factor therefore includes not only technical skills, but other non-technical abilities that influence teamwork and the operation of the production line.
Impact of human factor
The human factor is one of the main causes of deviations and increased production costs.
In fact, human errors can cause non-conformities that require the investment of time and human as well as material resources to correct them. In fact, returns can quickly increase production costs, especially when it comes to large quantities or complicated maneuvers.
Deviations are therefore considered to be sources of additional costs and delivery delays that can be costly to the company in a highly competitive environment such as the pharmaceutical industry.
For this reason, it is necessary to identify and reduce the human factor in order to reinforce the competitiveness of the company and strengthen the teams in the face of errors.
The operator at the center of maneuvers
Contrary to what one might imagine, Industry 4.0 seeks to place the operator at the center of the maneuvers. The pharmaceutical sector is no exception to this mutation, which seeks to transform the workplace into a connected factory where operators are constantly exchanging with each other and with the machines.
Playing a major role in the pharmaceutical industry 4.0, the role of the operator is becoming more and more important. Thus, the human factor is more and more present in the future plants. With this presence, the risk of incidents or human errors becomes more and more consequent requiring more important precautions.
It is in everyone’s interest to reduce the human factor allowing operators to work more efficiently, to be more productive and the company to be more profitable.
How to reduce it and eliminate deviations?
Reducing the human factor means reducing the risk of deviations that are costly to the company. It is therefore in the interest of any company involved in the pharmaceutical production sector to seek to implement solutions that reduce the human factor and the resulting risks.
Digitization of documentation
Digitizing industrial documentation means transforming paper documents into interactive digital documents. Whether training documents, work instructions, operating procedures or forms, the shift to digital format reduces the human factor that results from misinterpretation, application of wrong instructions, damage or mishandling.
The use of a documentation digitization solution that uses the cloud for data storage is the best solution for companies that want to improve the performance of their operators by reducing the human factor.
Use of clear documents
Using clear documents for training or as work instructions eliminates the risk of misinterpretation or misunderstanding. In fact, in the best of cases, it is necessary to use annotated images and diagrams that are much more easily assimilated by the operators.
Ensuring good training
Good operator training is the key to success for industrial companies. It is therefore necessary to favor interactive training materials that have been tested under real-life conditions. Ideally, the use of augmented reality headsets makes it easier for operators to assimilate the training and also allows them to test their knowledge in real production conditions.
Communication is paramount within the plants. To integrate new positions or to carry out new tasks, operators require a period of adaptation during which communication must be privileged to avoid deviations without stopping production or disturbing the progress of the line.
The sharing of knowledge between the different operators ensures that the entire team’s skills are enhanced. This is why it is necessary to put in place the appropriate technological solutions to facilitate and encourage the conservation and sharing of knowledge.
When an operator finds himself in a situation where he needs to consult work instructions, these must be immediately accessible to reduce the risk of delays or avoidable trips.
The use of digital work instructions and technological solutions such as connected eyewear, tablets or augmented reality headsets facilitates access to information, thus reducing the human factor.
Use a dedicated solution for this purpose
The human factor is one of the main risk factors for deviation and non-compliance in pharmaceutical plants. It is for this reason that manufacturers must incorporate solutions to reduce this risk. The digitalization of industrial documents and the use of technological solutions to facilitate access to information is the best solution to reduce the human factor. In this way, operators have immediate access to accurate and up-to-date information that allows them to perform their tasks properly.
Picomto offers a software and technological solution that allows pharmaceutical companies to give the right information to the right person at the right time, clearly, understandably and up to date. This reduces all interpretation errors and human factors, thus eliminating deviations and returns.