What now?

What Now? By Rich Komarniski February 1999 Richard Komarniski is President of Grey Owl Aviation Consultants. He has worked as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician for the last twenty-three years holding AME and A&P Ratings. Richard has...


Maintenance personnel need Human Factors training and the insight it provides to help us understand our own work habits and those of our co-workers. We have to avoid the blame game and get down to the root causes. Human Factors Training will change a blame culture to a learning culture.

Implementing a human factors training program involves changing attitudes and behavior in employees, attributes which are difficult to change in individuals. But, with a little perseverance, as more people complete the program, they begin to speak a common language. Soon, behavioral change starts to be evident within the organization — changes that will provide long-term and lasting benefits. But, few companies are willing to open themselves up to such a culture change incorporating an open reporting culture and improved communications — many companies believe that they are "safe enough."

The results of providing human factors awareness training have been demonstrated in our industry. These programs have been strongly endorsed by the FAA, Transport Canada, the NTSB, the CAA, PAMA, NBAA, and many other government agencies and aviation organizations. However, many companies are still reluctant to make the commitment. They have lots of reasons for not implementing human factors awareness programs. They want to continue to study the issue and approaches and talk about what should or should not be included in human factors training in their airline or repair facility. Isn't it time for less talk and more action?

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