Aviation safety refers to activities conducted by individuals and organizations aimed at reducing risks associated with aviation operations. It refers to a set of security of measures and resources that are implemented for the purposes of preventing malicious acts such as terrorism targeting aircrafts, their passengers as well as crew members. Safety should always be the first priority of any aircraft and airports. Human factors refer to the issues that impact on how individuals perform their jobs.
Human factors may include personal and social skills such as technical skills, communication, as well as decision making traits. Human factors play an essential role in the safety of the aviation industry. Issues relating to human factors such as errors lead to more instances of plane accidents. Errors by human beings in the aviation industry may include aspects such as errors by the flight crew, air traffic controllers, as well as mistakes done by maintenance personnel as well as other employees of the airlines that may have a direct impact on the safety of flights. Therefore, human factors are essential in the aviation industry because they help in making work more effective, safe, and efficient.
In addition, human factors may refer to the limitations or capabilities of employees that may have an impact on the efficiency and safety of aviation operations. Some of the human factors that influence aviation safeties include lack of efficient communications, inadequate knowledge, lack of appropriate teamwork, fatigue, stress at work, as well as lack of assertiveness. Safety in airports and aircrafts should be highly considered since it involves many individuals across the globe. Failure to enhance aviation safety may cause panic since airplanes are the major means of transport used by people all over the world.
Lack of Efficient Communications
Effective communication is an essential element in the aviation industry, and all employees, especially pilots, should be in a position to communicate effectively. Communication is usually the best medium used by an individual to understand each other. Some of the ways and types of communication applied in the aviation industry include written communication, oral, non-verbal communication human-machine as well as machine to machine communications. Additionally, the use of graphics is a popular means of communication in the aviation industry. Ineffective communication leads to the jeopardy of aviation security in many ways.
Communication is one of the essential elements of human factors since the majority of accidents in the aviation industry occur due to ineffective communication. For instance, when engineers at the airports notice a mechanical challenge with a flying plane, they should communicate the information immediately to the captain. However, at times elements such as poor network and computer errors make it hard for the communications, thus leading to an accident which, in most cases, is usually fatal, killing all passengers on board.
Communication in the aviation industry has three elements that include the sender, the recipient of the information as well as the means of transmission. Therefore, when the sender makes unclear and inaccessible transmissions to the pilot, there is a likelihood that an accident might occur. Some of the crucial information transmitted to captains may include aspects such as the weather conditions, or the presence of physical features such as mountains at specific areas. All relevant information should be passed appropriately to the pilots and the crew before a plane takes off.
Lack of Teamwork
The majority of aircraft accidents are usually caused by human factors. Teamwork is one of the most crucial human elements in the operations of lights within the aviation industry. Many professionals are involved in a single flight such as pilots, co-pilots, aeronautical engineers, air-hostesses, computer scientists, as well as security officers. All employees within the industry should embrace teamwork since no employee can ensure aviation safety alone. For instance, meteorologists should work hand in hand with captains and inform them of times when a flight is likely to experience bad weather.
Almost all of the operations in the aviation industry are performed as a team affair. Therefore, when there is a professional who does not embrace teamwork within the industry, aviation safety is likely to be negatively affected and may be good grounds for insecurities such as terrorism. Teamwork requires that each professional in the aviation industry is able to prove and show their competencies. Employees at airports should be equipped and trained in the best ways of embracing teamwork. For instance, they should be informed on how to embrace teamwork in instances when there is an emergency by limiting the boundaries of each expert in the industry. All employees should be made to understand their roles as well as ensuring good feedback mechanisms to ensure that all aviation staff is updated with all emerging aspects within the industry. Some of the aspects of teamwork that threaten aviation safety include poor leadership, as well as demotivated staff.
Fatigue and Stress at Work
Fatigue and stress occur to staff members at the airports due to prolonged working hours. Fatigue at work may lead to lower concentration levels; therefore, it affects aviation safety. For instance, when security guards are overworked, they may fail to be keen and thorough while inspecting goods getting into the airport. As a result, certain illegal substances and weapons may be passed through, thus affecting the security of a particular flight. The 9/11 incident may be used as the best example of how ineffectiveness by security guards may affect the airline's security. Therefore, airport employees should be work on schedules with breaks in between to increase their productivity. Besides, stressful employees at the airport are more likely to lose concentration at work, thus increasing the chances of terrorism and crimes such as human trafficking and smuggling of drugs. Therefore, airports should have a counseling department where staff members are advised in instances when they are affected by stressful conditions. In addition, appropriate work schedules should be developed where all staff members feel comfortable working.
Lack of Motivation
Motivation plays a vital role in ensuring that staff members in the aviation industry are productive and work efficiently. However, in instances where employees are not motivated, they may fail to work appropriately, thus causing a security issue within the industry. Employees that are not well-motivated lack passion for their work, which is detrimental to aviation safety. Some of the ways to motivate staff include good remuneration, being transparent, rewarding employees based on feedback, as well as prioritizing work-life balance for all employees. Besides, managers in aviation can motivate employees by appreciating and recognizing hard work.
Lack of Assertiveness and Resources
Assertiveness refers to the social skill that heavily relies on efficient communications while at the same time, respecting the wishes and thoughts of other people. The aviation industry should embrace the human element of assertiveness to ensure there is the safety of flights and airports. When managers in the aviation industry do not embrace assertiveness, employees are unable to express their thoughts, thus creating teamwork challenges that lead to ineffective communications. As a result, aviation safety is affected, thus allowing instances of terrorism and other insecurities to take place. Assertiveness should, therefore, be embraced in the aviation industry to allow each employee to air out their opinions regarding how best safety can be enhanced in the aviation industry.
Human Errors Such as Errors by the Flight Crew and Maintenance Personnel
Many aircraft accidents occur as a result of human and mechanical errors that are created by human beings. Air traffic controllers, as well as the flight crew, are also responsible for the majority of aircraft accidents. For instance, the lack of coordination between air traffic controllers and pilots may lead to unsafe landing or takeoffs, thus leading to aircraft accidents. Engineers also affect the safety of flights when they fail to fix parts of a plane appropriately. For instance, many planes experience mechanical challenges as a result of faulty engines, thus affecting the security of passengers.
Aviation safety is essential because it involves the lives of people in all operations. Human factors are among the greatest reasons for aircraft insecurities and accidents. Human errors occur in various forms within the aviation industry, such as lack of appropriate communications, resources, as well as stress and lack of motivation at the workplace. Teamwork should be embraced in the aviation industry since aviation safety cannot be achieved by a single person but through a holistic approach from all staff members.
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Wise, J. A., Hopkin, V. D., & Garland, D. J. (2016). Handbook of human aviation factors. CRC Press. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780429164019
Salas, E., Maurino, D., & Curtis, M. (2010). Human factors in aviation: an overview. Human factors in aviation (pp. 3-19). Academic Press. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123745187000018
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