For anyone working on aircraft, Human Factors (HF) needs attention. That includes identifying factors that affect human performance in maintenance and inspection. HF is a way to guard against complacency, distraction, fatigue, pressure, stress and a wide collection of workplace pressures. Everyone wants to accomplish every task properly. Procedures and practices to ensure safety and airworthiness require full attention. There lies the challenge. Without healthy well motivated people it’s difficult to give tasks the full attention needed.
The onset of a pandemic is already having an impact on aircraft production and maintenance. Companies that operate globally have suspended international travel amid the growing coronavirus outbreak. Generally, they have procedural exceptions that apply in cases to maintain business continuity and aviation safety. National and international authorities have rules in place to ensure employee safety.
Organisations should provide information to their staff regarding the management of a case with acute respiratory infection in the workplace.
In order to limit staff exposure to the coronavirus outbreak, some people will be working from home over the coming weeks. Those working on aircraft may not have that option. Here IFA wishes to highlight the dangers of pressing on regardless and failing to account for human behaviour.
Where there’s a reliance on self-declaration of illness an organisational culture that listens and acts swiftly on staff health matters is to be encouraged. Hard-nosed macho cultures where individuals press-on long after the point where they should have stood aside presents a safety threat.
Taking the latest official advice, careful reassessment of potential safety risks may require urgent changes to working procedures. The COVID19 virus will be a concern for many months. It strikes aviation and airworthiness just as it strikes the whole of the community.
IFA advises constantly monitoring the situation mindful of the urgency and the fact that this is a cross-border occurrence.
John Vincent, CEO, IFA