Aviation Human Factors & Murphy - Murphy’s Law will get you in the end!

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SofemaOnline (www.sofemaonline.com) takes a look at what we understand when we talk about Murphy’s law!

Who & What is Murphy’s Law?

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born out of an event at Edwards Air Force Base USA in 1949.

It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, An exercise to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.

One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it.". The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.

Actually, what he did was take an old law that had been around for years in a more basic form and give it a name.

Murphy's Laws for Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

a) You cannot fix everything, even though you think you can - Overconfidence leads to Human Error.

b) You do not know everything, even though you think you do - If you do not know ask! We are all on a lifelong journey of learning.

c) No Two Mechanics Will ever agree on the same fix - We see things differently but we both need to interpret the “approved information” - If in doubt ASK!

d) If you fix too much, you will be laid off or If you don't fix enough, you will be laid off - Whilst we are cynical in this story there is always a grain of truth - how to minimise our exposure to HF in all cases?

e) Blaming other shifts is always acceptable. Means the willingness to transfer the blame rather than owning it is a way of distancing your self from the issue - clearly a willingness to assume ownership will be a positive step on the journey of improvement.

f) Electrons are magic to Sheet Metal Mechanics & Rivets are like Kryptonite to Avionic Mechanics. Means we have skill sets & competences and when we move outside of our core competencies, we risk a higher possibility of something going wrong.

g) If you don't know what you are doing, read the maintenance manual for the rest of your shift. In some way it is perceived a “Bad” if you do not “know by heart” what should be done – the opposite is off course the truth and it is incumbent on managers and supervisors to provide guidance and support.

h) Asking for help means you're an idiot - see g) above

Sofema Aviation Service SAS & Sofema Online SOL offer training in Human Factors, Safety Management Systems Implementation & Management, Maintenance Error Management and Training for Trainers in a Human Factors and Maintenance Environment for details please see www.sassofia.com www.sofemaonline.com or email office@sassofia.com & online@sassofia.com

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