EASA Part CAMO Safety & Human Factor Training – Considering Communications – Shift – Task Handover

Sofema Aviation Services considers HF exposures related to Manpower – Shift/Task Handover


Shift work is used extensively in commercial air transport maintenance operations.

Often maintenance technicians or engineers are working shifts or duty periods that conflict with their natural circadian rhythm, or risk fatigue from multiple shifts.

Incomplete Work Handover

Without effective shift change procedures and communications, the risk of errors increases and can threaten the safety of the work process. Consider the potential for error related to the passing of incomplete work tasks from an outgoing shift to the incoming shift.

Aircraft maintenance tasks typically are broken down into detailed functional packets that require tasks to be completed in a certain sequence, and some tasks may take longer to complete than a single shift.

An aircraft heavy maintenance visit typically takes several days or weeks and involves hundreds of individual tasks.

To ensure effective and safe management all work should be handed over from one shift to the next. Proper shift handover helps ensure an aircraft’s airworthiness as well as the safety of employees.

Handover Procedures Essential Elements:

a) The outgoing worker’s ability to understand and communicate important elements of the job or task being turned over to the incoming worker

b) The incoming worker’s ability to understand and assimilate the information being provided by the outgoing worker

c) A formalized process for exchanging information between outgoing and incoming workers and a place for such an exchange to take place

Essential Aspects of a successful handover include

Ownership  (personal responsibility for the tasks they are performing).

Structure – Relates to the level of recognition and effectiveness of Handover Procedures and written operating rules.

Commitment – of Managers and Supervisors to ensure that inter – shift information is effectively communicated and delivered.

Note – An effective process will typically include:

a) Shift turnover meetings between incoming and outgoing supervisors to discuss the general state of the facility and the status of all work

b) Key Workers from the departing shifts should document and also summarise verbally any significant problems encountered and proposed potential solutions if applicable/relevant

Additional to the Documented and Verbal Handover – Walkthroughs enable the concerned individual persons to exchange information related to specific tasks.


Effective communication is the key to an effective Handover. A common and serious mistake is a disconnect caused by an incoming worker assuming that the outgoing worker has completed a job when, in fact, he or she has not.

Next Steps

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