Fan or Follower?
“Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect”— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. c. early 1930's.
Aviation technical manuals strongly emphasis warnings and cautions to be observed, training classes reinforce the safety mantra, and individuals size up the potential risks once on the task. Human factors’ training teaches to assess our human condition and environmental surroundings. As aviation professionals we accept these risks as part of our duties and responsibilities.
Our senses are most acute when we are performing a critical task for the first time. However, after performing the same procedure a few times, we become comfortable with it: in other words, we become complacent and take things for granted. Gradual drifting away from follow procedures gives birth to the foundation of Negative Norms.
Critical tasks become non-critical when performed repeatedly without accident or incident. Our senses are not as alert: we are not as aware of our region of risk. Complacency combined with other human performance factors can often lead to poor decision-making and ultimately, an accident or incident. Thus, our regions of risk are in the work environment; the hangar, shop, on the ramp, around the aircraft, in the cockpit or in the servicing facility.
This year, make a commitment that you and your co-workers will complete the FAA’s 45-minute web-based training program “The Buck Stops Here”, Follow Procedures training. Post the “Before and After, the task procedure following checklist” in conspicuous places in you work area. Be not a Fan but a Follower of these regions of risk safety nets.
Be Safe in the Region of Risk
Decoding Human Factors, LLC