Pointing and Calling – A Japanese Safety Method

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How many times have we performed an action, without thinking about what we’re doing? Driven home and realized we don’t remember the past five minutes of the drive, switched to autopilot and performed actions by muscle memory without thinking about what we’re doing? Did you put the cap back on the toothpaste? When we perform an action over and over, it becomes habit and with habit comes mindlessness. And that is unsafe. What if your employees are doing the same thing with checks and processes put into place to keep your plant safely running?

The Japanese train system is one of the fastest, and safest, in the world. Transporting over 12 billion people per year, the rail system has put into place incredible safety measures that you can carry out in your manufacturing facility to improve performance and safety.   They were the first to implement the Pointing and Calling  system, it is a method in occupational safety for avoiding mistakes by pointing at important indicators and calling out the status.

When performing a check, everyone from engineers to station attendances are required to “Point and Call.” Not enough to perform a visual inspection, they are required to point at the object of the task they are performing and call out what it is that they are doing. This engages multiple senses allowing employees to have a better awareness of what it is they’re doing. Because they’re required to point at the object and verbalize the action, they can’t “gloss” over the safety check. When an engineer checks the speed of the locomotive, he doesn’t just glance at the display. He points at the speed and says, “80 miles per hour.” A platform attendant doesn’t just look down the line to confirm no passengers are in restricted space at the approach of a train, but points his arm down the platform and while scanning announces what he is doing.

Various manufacturers in Japan have started using the Pointing and Calling method including Toyota.  It is perhaps a method that will catch on around the world.  What processes could be adapted to the Pointing and Calling method at your plant to increase mindfulness of the tasks being performed and the overall safety of your plant?  Be sure to visit www.gesrepair.com or call us at 1-877-249-1701 to learn more about our services. We’re proud to offer Surplus, Complete Repair and Maintenance on all types of Industrial Electronics, Servo Motors, AC and DC Motors, Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Please subscribe to our YouTube page and Like Us on Facebook! Thank you!

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