The FAA has created a variety of products and tools to support aircraft maintenance organizations. These tools have high potential to help reduce errors, aircraft damage, and employee injuries. The tools help ensure continuing efficient delivery of airworthy aircraft. To determine if you are taking advantage of these FAA products you can answer yes or no to the questions below. Become a “yes man” to using FAA human factors information.
Have you visited the FAA maintenance human factors web site?
All of the FAA maintenance human factors products are available at the shortened web site address: mxfatigue.com. If you have not been there, you are missing out on a number of free high value human factors resources.
Another great source of information is www.faasafety.gov. Maintained by the FAA Safety Team, that site offers many online courses, access to CDs, and information about safety events in your area, including IA renewal seminars.
Are you using FAA human factor training materials?
There are plenty of widely used FAA human factors training products. The Maintenance Human Factors Presentation System (MHFPS) (See Figure 2) offers 150 PowerPoint slides, 12 short videos, and 50 animated files that can comprise an entire human factors training program to be delivered by your instructor. Many human factors training consultants have adopted the FAA human factors training materials. You may be using it without even knowing its origin. Since 2008, the FAA has sent out more than 12,000 MHFPS in response to individual email requests from the human factors web site.
The FAA Maintenance Fatigue Awareness Training is an interactive web-based training program. Average time to complete the fatigue awareness training is about two hours. It includes an online end-of-course test and will issue a completion certificate. Most users have taken the training via the web but many organizations worldwide have loaded the training on their corporate web site. As one example, Emirate Airlines made the training mandatory for everyone in the maintenance and engineering organization.
The award-winning video, Grounded, see Figure 3, is a fictional story about a fatigued maintenance manager. Available on the web site, on DVD, and even on YouTube, the FAA has lost count on the volume of viewers in 2011-2012. It is integrated with the fatigue countermeasure training.
In 2011 and 2012 an estimated 20,000 visitors to the FAA Safety Team web site (FAAsafety.gov) completed the fatigue training. One MRO conducted an extensive cost-benefit analysis on the fatigue training. From 2010 through 2011 the organization reported achieving a savings of more than $300K just by reducing fatigue-related error (See below for more details).
FAA HF training offerings continue. In January 2013, the FAA launched another web-based training entitled, Human Factors Primer for Aviation Mechanics. That HF training will be a core course for the FAA Diamond Award. The course focuses on how attention to human factors can also promote a corporate and individual safety commitment to “Zero Violations.”
Are you using the HF support materials?
Training is a key ingredient to affect employee knowledge and behavior. But training is not enough. Training must be reinforced with other organizational programs and promotions. The FAA has put together some products that can help.
The mxfatigue.com has a place to download or order a variety of support materials. For example, there are 12 (See Figure 4 for example) posters to remind workers about fatigue. The posters are pdfs and ready to go to your local printer. For a few hundred dollars many organizations can produce a variety of colorful and informative posters throughout the organization.
The web site has a sleep diary and instructions to help workers assess their own two-week sleep habits. In many cases this is a bold awakening (not a pun) to the fact that one is sleep deprived. The guidance material tells the worker what to do about fatigue.
Knowledge of fatigue hazards can become clouded by the necessity of meeting deadlines, fulfilling delivery promises, or pocketing some extra overtime wages.