This activity involves pointing at target objects by stretching your arm and stating out loud, “Such and such is OK” at important points in the work in order to proceed with work safely and correctly.
Pointing and calling are methods for raising the consciousness level of workers and confirming that conditions are regular and clear, increasing the accuracy and safety of work. This method for ensuring safety is based on the philosophy of respecting human life and can be achieved only with the full participation of the workforce in practice activities across the whole of the workplace.
The most common cause of accidents or industrial accidents is often attributed to human error such as operational error, judgmental error, and job-related error, all of which are caused by human characteristics. Most of these errors are said to be associated with psychological factors affecting human behavior. The mechanism of the occurrence of industrial accidents shows that unsafe situations, i.e., machinery failure or deficiency of work method, account for 80% of the total accidents. Work is always accompanied by issues related to human error, and unsafe behavior accounts for about 90% of all accidents, including those caused by inexperienced and unskilled workers.
Human behavioral characteristics, such as mistakes and carelessness, are called “human characteristics,” and errors caused by human characteristics are called “human errors.”
In order to tackle accidents caused by human error:
- Hardware (equipment, facilities, and other tools)It is important to push ahead with safety and health measures in terms of hardware (facilities, machinery, working environment, and raw materials) for the prevention of accidents caused by human error.
- Software (human beings as well as hardware)In addition to the above measures, it is necessary to improve the working environment including the relationship between workers and hardware as well as work from the perspective of a man-machine system.
- HumanwareHumanware incorporates the safety and health management of both hardware and software. Effective humanware hazard prediction activities incorporate countermeasures against human error and include the Zero-accident Campaign, the hazard prediction training (KYT), and pointing and calling.In 2011, the Osaka University set out to validate the method in a study with the impossibly long title, “The effects of ‘finger-pointing and calling’ on cognitive control processes in the task-switching paradigm.” Their report notes that many modern work environments involve an enormous amount of information compiled by automated systems, all of which is funneled to a human being with relatively simple decisions to make. While these decisions can be thought to be simple enough — i.e., apply the brake in response to a speed limit sign — the cost of making a mistake can be catastrophic. These decisions can become much more stressful in a “task-switching paradigm,” that is when the decision is based on more than a true/false option. They anticipated that finger pointing and calling would improve accuracy, but they also believed it would slow down the process. (Proponents often argue that the method is especially important where accuracy is more important than speed.) Of 8,000 trials, the overall error rate was very low, just 2.5%. But when finger-pointing and calling were required, errors virtually disappeared.The Osaka University study concludes that the Pointing and Calling technique facilitates the cognitive process, working memory, and the subsequent response. In other words, Pointing and Calling improve your accuracy when having to evaluate information prior to making distinct decisions based on that information.