Harnessing the Human Factor

Harnessing the Human Factor

May 20, 2014

“We have families, too.”

Many years ago, a Chicago-area grocery store used that statement in an ad campaign touting its attention to quality. The point applies to cargo handlers, too, yet, “Ninety-percent of all cold chain problems are due to human error,” according to Melissa Germain, assistant director of cold chain research at Georgia Tech, quoted in an IQPC report.

Beefing up training or updating standard operating procedures can help reduce human error, but what is most needed is the human connection. Making that connection starts with putting the risks in human terms for your own staff.

For example, if the celery they bought Friday can be tied in knots Saturday, chances are it wasn’t shipped properly. Likewise, the package of medicine that sat all day on the loading dock and became too warm or too cold now may become less effective.

Cold chain risks go beyond food and pharmaceuticals and apply to paints, chemicals, adhesives, and many other products that may separate or change consistency, effecting their performance and usability.

People want to succeed, so helping cargo handlers understand the ramifications of cold chain errors will help reduce them. Human errors will still occur, though.  Temperature monitors can reinforce the importance of maintaining the cold chain by increasing packages’ visibility, proving temperatures were maintained, or documenting the extent, duration, and frequency of temperature excursions.

To learn more about how temperature monitoring can provide peace of mind despite the potential for human error, contact ShockWatch.

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