Blog posts tagged in Human Factors

SofemaOnline - Case Study Eastern Airlines

Introduction

For many people in aviation today the events of Eastern Airlines Flight 855 are long forgotten, however, the memory does live on and on this fateful day many lives were saved thanks to the calm and professional approach of the pilots.

What happened?

On May 5, 1983, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, registration N334EA, en route from Miami International Airport to Nassau International Airport, experienced the loss of all three engines near Miami, Florida. Following a decision to return to Miami.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

It is important to ensure that all employees are aware of how to act in the event of a workplace emergency. Whilst not every person needs to be qualified as a fire marshal or Emergency First Aid Responder, it is important that a number of employees are "highly trained" and all employees have an general awareness of all potential emergencies and how to proceed.

All employees should understand what constitutes an emergency or disaster at the workplace?

Additionally, to understand:

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Introduction to Hazards & Risk 

Hazard - Consider that a Hazard has the potential to disrupt or cause harm in some way - this does not in any way mean that it will - simply it can.

Risk - When we look at risk we are trying to determine how great is our exposure to the perceived hazard. So risk is subjective and the more effective the risk analysis and mitigation process the less likely we are to suffer the consequence of a “hazard”.

Reality Check 1 - Maintenance professionals are of course human and therefore prone to human error. Therefore acceptance of vulnerability and potential exposure is the first step in taking responsibility and avoiding risk-taking behaviours. 

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Aircraft certifications are made within the framework of an organisation approval, part of which lays on the organisation the need to ensure currency – but it is not a one-sided story because the certifying staff also has a responsibility to remain current - means up to date with developments and changes to either the regulations or approved data which is driving the task.

Aircraft maintenance technicians typically undertake a significant basic training program which provides them with the knowledge and competence to enable them to become aircraft mechanics. 

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Introduction to Work Logging and Recording 

Maybe the description belies the importance of the subject however the reality is that correctly recording work, which has been carried out, as well as how we document and hand over any outstanding tasks is of significant importance and creates multiple human factor exposures.

Inadequate recording of work carried out has been cited as a contributing factor in several incidents.

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Every Picture Tells a Story!

Sure, but sometimes there is a story behind the story.

Turns out the Captain had a very hairy landing (maybe wake turbulence from a departing aircraft) but in any event, he believed it was normal. 

Basically the Cowl of this huge 55,000 pounds thrust engine “kissed” the ground.

Unfortunately, the Engineer missed this during his walk around!

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

What do we Mean by Complex Systems?

Essentially all large modern aircraft can be described as complex systems. But this is just the beginning because integrated organisations are also in themselves complicated systems and the combination of both together creates multiple exposures within the realm of Human Factor related errors, incidents & accidents.

Engaging with Complex Systems

Within the aircraft environment, a simple system should cause no problems in itself, with engineers being trained and possessing the appropriate competence to fully engage with the challenge of addressing the various problems.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

What are Repetitive Tasks?

When we talk about “repetitive tasks”, we mean tasks which are performed several times during a shift (Daily check or Transit Check for example). There are more mundane tasks, for example, checking aircraft life jackets. What happens physiologically is that as a person becomes complacent his alertness decreases along with his performance.

Repetitive tasks are essential tasks which require a low level of mental acuity. Such tasks can quickly become tedious and therefore induce a low level of arousal within the worker.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Any pressure we feel can lead to stress and stress can lead to human error. Current minimum turn-around times place additional pressure on maintenance staff and create a challenge for any defects which are found and the steps which need to be taken.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Stress is often associated with anxiety, fear, fatigue, and hostility. It can also arise as a result of feelings of inadequacy, where we may feel we don't have the appropriate experience, knowledge, or capability to complete our allocated tasks.

All these feelings can have a direct and negative impact on performance. In fact, our performance will generally improve with the onset of stress however it will then peak and begin to degrade rapidly as stress levels exceed our abilities to handle the situation.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Fitness and Health

Aircraft maintenance certifying staff and technicians often undertake work which is physically demanding as well as being called on to work in multiple environments include cold and heat, wind and rain.

Fitness and health can have a significant effect upon job performance (both physical and cognitive). Day to day fitness can be reduced through illness (physical or mental) or injury.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Maintenance Management Focus

Supervisors and Managers have an important role to ensuring that safety and safe working practices is a top down leadership “led” objective which is instilled in mechanics and certifying staff and visible throughout the business.

Considering Supervisors

The supervisor’s role is somewhat different to the manager role as the supervisor position requires a more “hands on” approach, to the potential for errors to be made by technicians and certifying staff.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

Concerning Safety Culture

Safety culture is how we perceive the combination of attitude, beliefs, perceptions and values and it is considered as part of the organisation culture, sometimes described by the phrase "the way we do things around here".

What do we mean by Safety Culture within an Organisation?

Safety Culture is the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritised within an organisation.

Safety Culture reflects the true commitment to safety at all levels in the organisation.

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel 

What is Peer Pressure?

Peer pressure is the pressure we feel to do what our group or peers expect of us. Peer pressure is closely linked to organizational norms and culture.

We consider peers as people who are part of our own social group, so the term "peer pressure" means the influence that peers can have on each other. The term "peer pressure" is not usually used to describe socially desirable behaviours, rather a degree of pressure to conform to the "group norms".

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

What is Motivation?

Motivation can be thought of as a basic human drive that arouses, directs, and sustains all human behaviour.

In general all “Human Behaviour” occurs following a related motivating requirement.

Motivated behaviour could be described as goal directed and purposeful. 

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Sofemaonline.com offers online training including EASA Part 66 Module 9 Human Factors compliant training for third country workshop personnel

Introduction

Social Psychology looks at the interactions as well as the pressure a group places on its individual members.

Individuals are responsible for themselves, their successes and failures. People may also hold others or be held by others as responsible for any action (or inaction). It is usual to find that relationships vary from an environment where groups have very clear and explicit rules that keep people in line to groups where the rules or pressures are more subtle.

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As the technical complexity of aircraft have developed over the last 100 years the nature of interaction with people associated with the maintenance of aircraft began to matter more & more and in fact today human factors is relevant in just about every aspect and element of the maintenance system. 

The use of the term "human factors" in the context of aviation maintenance engineering is relatively new. In fact EASA only started mandating Compulsory HF training from 2005.

Several Landmark aircraft accidents, for example Aloha aircraft in the USA in 1988 and British Airways BAC 1-11 windscreen accident in the UK in June 1990 showed that there was an unacceptable level of exposure to the potential of Maintenance Human Factors MHF.

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Introduction

It is considered that errors and violations together form the unreliable part of our human performance. Moreover, that 70-90 percent of current aviation incidents & accidents are due to in some part to “human factors”.

Errors and violations contribute to accidents both directly and by making the consequences of other problems more serious. An accident typically involves several contributing factors, some usually being quite visible and others possibly latent in nature.

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Introduction

Why people break rules, particularly if the outcome can be negative and even dangerous? What is it that makes a worker break the rules or commit a violation?

A great deal of research has been undertaken during the last 25 years with the focus looking at the view of errors in different way.

Rather than Human error being considered the ultimate cause of system failure, it is important to understand the context in which the error was committed. (For example, was it deliberate or related to Pressure, Fatigue, Stress or any of the other “Dirty Dozen”?)

Violations – Personal or Organizationally Optimizing?

To reduce exposure to violations and errors, a broad range of organisational interventions may be required.

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Steven Bentley MD of SAS www.sassofia.com considers the potential for HF Error with an EASA/GCAA compliant CAMO

Introduction

The Primary Roles of the CAMO are Maintenance Planning, Technical Records, Reliability & Engineering. Each “Role” brings the challenges of how we can ensure enough attention to both personal and organisational responsibility, when we consider the potential for HF error.

HF Example – Stress Caused by Pressure from “Poor Planning”

We are not considering here that it could be the Maintenance Planning Worker who is stressed – however this is of course a possibility, and we should always make sure that our team members have the appropriate level of “Competence” for the role.

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