Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance

When people are involved in any activity, human error is a possibility. Human performance and the aviation industry have been tied together throughout aviation’s long history. Aviation maintenance requires a very skilled set of personnel and the importance of the impact Human Factors has on aviation continues to grow. Most processes in aviation maintenance are designed to reduce or eliminate Human Factors.

The rate of accidents and incidents involving maintenance issues has increased as aircraft have become more automated and complex. Historically, eighty percent of all aircraft maintenance incidents are caused by human errors. Most errors in aircraft maintenance are typically due to incorrect component installations, damage that may have occurred during the maintenance, or when dangerous conditions are not properly detected during Quality Control and inspection procedures. Most of these incidents are preventable.

Human Factors’ Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen refers to the most common elements of human error that lead to mistakes or accidents. The Dirty Dozen is not a full list of human errors, however, aviation and many businesses outside of the aviation industry have found the Dirty Dozen to be a useful introduction into the influences of human error and can assist in improvements across an organization.

Human Factors Training

Most aviation maintenance organizations have training programs to help manage Human Factor errors. Human Factors training is a must for all U.S. repair stations with EASA part 145 approval. Human Factors training has proven to be a cost-effective tool that helps minimize human error and reduce accidents in the aircraft maintenance workplace.

Many companies have developed dedicated Human Factors specialists or teams, which implements training and strategies to bring understanding and awareness to the entire organization. Regular training and a continued focus towards Human Factors have been shown to reduce human errors, ensure personnel safety, and control maintenance costs.

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