Aviation Maintenance Safety Management Embracing MEMS for Improved Analysis

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Driving Safety Management System (SMS) Value from your Aviation Maintenance Error Management System (MEMS).
Throughout our Industry we know that Maintenance Errors cost millions of Euros every year through the need for rework, delays and lost revenue. (To consider also the potential to introduce safety related exposures.)

What is MEDA?

Boeing developed the MEDA process to assist maintenance organisations identify why events occur and how to prevent them in the future.

MEDA provides a process for conducting thorough and consistent investigations, determining the factors that lead to an event and making improvements to reduce the likelihood of future incidents.

The MEDA philosophy is based on three assumptions:

a) People want to do the best job possible and do not make errors intentionally

b) A series of factors is likely to contribute to an error

c) Most contributory factors to an error can be managed

Background MEDA, Human Factors & MEMS

Boeing provided during the mid-1990’s the aviation community with MEDA (Maintenance Error Decision Aid) which is off course one possible element within a Maintenance Error Management System.

Separately several Human Factor Pilot schemes were introduced which culminated in the mandatory requirement for both initial and recurrent training in Human Factors for all EASA Part 145 Organisations.

SMS is currently still being introduced within EASA 145 with additional legislation pending. The possibility of joining together the Quality & Safety System data and using it as a source for internal SMS analysis is of the highest value within the organisation.

It is a fact that a detailed understanding of the Human Factor dimensions which have impacted events, can indeed become a tool to support the need for better reporting within the SMS.

The SMS reality is that the closer we bring together the two subject areas of Human Factors (HF) & Safety Management Systems (SMS) the greater the leverage which may be seen in terms of benefits across the maintenance system.

Gain leverage using a Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA)

To consider the possibility of getting more value from our SMS by utilising Data which is generated through a MEDA process fully engaged within the Maintenance delivery process.

Consider that embracing an understanding of MEDA contributing factors as a management tool can be used to identify and analyse the hazards to determine “risk”

By understanding the various levels of risk, we have an opportunity to develop mitigations which can be focused not only on reducing safety exposure but to also to reduce waste, minimizing unnecessary expenditure and avoidable loss.

Now to consider some objectives which we may wish to consider or adopt:

1) We should strive to achieve the best possible safety performance consistent with our organisation’s capacity and capability.

2) To recognise within our SMS, we have the option to choose to expand our remit to consider not just safety of the operation but in details the safety of people, equipment, facilities, and the financial exposure of the organisation.

3) We should also focus on developing a detailed understanding regarding any issues or precursors which may lead to an increased exposure to potential Human Factor (HF) related or initiated accidents and incidents.

What is the No 1 challenge Within a Typical Aviation Maintenance SMS

Possibly it is the lack of proactive reporting and this is the area which we all have to focus on improving, simply because without “Data” the SMS can not function in a strong way.

Not to forget the entire process is a “Top Down” System – means success starts with the leadership team!

Support for Developing Your “In-company” MEMS Program

Sofema Aviation Services offers Training, Support and Guidance to help you understand, develop and implement an Effective Error Management Systems to deliver the safest possible organization process.

For additional information please see www.sassofia.com or www.sofemaonline.com or email office@sassofia.com

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Tagged in: Error HF MEDA MEMS SMS