Posts Tagged ‘Error Prevention’

And it’s unbelievably cheap too while yielding immense safety benefits!

From an article (and clips) here by Christoph Roser, brought up by Gopalakrishna Sunderrajan:

Look at this short clip (49 secs):

What is the train driver pointing at and what is he saying?

The technique of ‘Point and Call‘ is practiced by the Japanese railway companies from around 1900, and it is now widespread throughout Japan. And to a little extent, however not with the same rigor, outside of railways too.

With Japanese railroads, anything that has to be looked at is usually confirmed using point and call. First and foremost, this is for observing railroad signals that indicate whether the train is allowed to proceed, whether there are speed restrictions, or whether the train needs to stop. For example, when a speed limit starts in 500 meters, the train driver points at the sign and says, “Limit 75 Distance 500.

The technique is also used to verify the timetable. At every stop, the driver points to the corresponding line in the timetable to verify the target arrival and departure times. For example, when leaving the station, the driver points at the timetable and says, “Three o’ clock 12 minutes 15 seconds depart Shibuya station.

While the train stops, the speed is verified by pointing at the speedometer. Platform attendants and conductors also point along the platform to check if the train is clear, often also pointing at additional surveillance monitors for this purpose. For example, the conductor points at the doors after closing and states, “Good Closure,” then points at the monitors and states, “Good monitors for departure.

Pointing and Calling combines looking at something, pointing at it, calling out the observation, and listening to your own voice, giving co-action and co-reaction among the operator’s brain, eyes, hands, mouth, and ears. Not only looking but also pointing and sometimes stating the observation avoids sloppiness and helps keep focus and attention. For simple tasks (and most of these tasks are reasonably simple), this technique reduces errors by almost 85%. Some companies use only pointing, or only calling, but the technique is most effective when combined.

Here’s another clip on the subject (3.55 mins):

The article appeared in the beginning of 2014. Surprisingly for some reason this easy-to-implement innovative practice does not seem to have caught on yet outside of Japan.




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