On the way to Mass, I listened to the song “Dear Younger Me,” which asks: If you could go back, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self? As I listened, I thought about the bits of wisdom I might give my younger, less-wise self. Most of us have thought about how we might do things differently – if only we could do it all over again.
Occasionally when we think we’ve preformed a task exceptionally well, we tend to exaggerate our accomplishment. We are content with our achievement and we’re confident we deserve some outside recognition. But could we have contributed more? Other times, we skimp on our obligation. We get sloppy and figure that whatever we’ve done is good enough. In response to both of these instances, however, the message is clear: when you think you’ve done enough, could we do more?
Although many maintenance incidents reflect organizational problems, the maintenance technicians themselves are the last line of defense in that organization. There are defenses that technician's can adopt to reduce their chances of being involved in an incident. Most importantly, our skills, habits, beliefs and knowledge can all be changed in ways that increase the reliability of human performance.
Region of Risk
“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.
Falls are one of life’s great overlooked perils. We fear terror attacks, shark bites, and other minutely remote dangers, yet more than 420,000 people die worldwide each year after falling. Falls are the second-leading cause of death by injury after car accidents. In the United States, falls cause 32,000 fatalities a year (more than four times the number caused by drowning and fires combined). Nearly three times as many people die in the U.S. after falling as are murdered by firearms.
The Human Factors Guide for Aviation Maintenance and Inspection (2006, 2nd edition),
Federal Aviation Administration (PDF, 7.8 MB)