Optimal approaches to the quality control checking of product labels

Smith-Spark, James H. and Katz, Hillary B. and Wilcockson, Thomas D.W. and Marchant, Alexander P. (2018) Optimal approaches to the quality control checking of product labels. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68. pp. 118-124. ISSN 0169-8141

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Abstract

Quality control checkers at fresh produce packaging facilities occasionally fail to detect incorrect information presented on labels. Despite being infrequent, such errors have significant financial and environmental repercussions. To understand why label-checking errors occur, observations and interviews were undertaken at a large packaging facility and followed up with a laboratory-based label-checking task. The observations highlighted the dynamic, complex environment in which label-checking took place, whilst the interviews revealed that operatives had not received formal training in label-checking. On the laboratory-based task, overall error detection accuracy was high but considerable individual differences were found between professional label-checkers. Response times were shorter when participants failed to detect label errors, suggesting incomplete checking or ineffective checking strategies. Furthermore, eye movement recordings indicated that checkers who adopted a systematic approach to checking were more successful in detecting errors. The extent to which a label checker adopted a systematic approach was not found to correlate with the number of years of experience that they had accrued in label-checking. To minimize the chances of label errors going undetected, explicit instruction and training, personnel selection and/or the use of software to guide performance towards a more systematic approach is recommended.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 68, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.ergon.2018.07.003
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2739
Subjects:
ID Code:
126671
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 Aug 2018 09:16
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2020 04:20