Human Factors in Aviation – Considers Physical Working Environment

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Introduction

Whilst a Definition of Aviation Human Factors covers a wide range of issues including perceptual, physical and mental capabilities, major account should be taken regarding the interaction and effects on individuals of their job and working environments, including the influence of equipment and system design on human performance as well as the various organizational characteristics which can influence safety-related behaviour at work.

The working environment should be appropriate for the task carried out and any particular requirements complied with, moreover, the working environment should be such that the effectiveness of personnel is not impaired.

Working Environment

When we consider the various physical influences we should also take note of the workplace layout and the ease of performing the various tasks.

This includes, for example, the storage and tool control procedures, technical documentation availability, the provision of safety equipment and harnesses.

Storage and management of chemicals and fluids (many are toxic) correct signage and awareness are very important.

Environment – Physical Versus Organizational

The physical workplace may be considered as the line, hangar and workshop this needs to be viewed in the context of the organizational environment (Norms – Best Practice – Commercial Pressure etc)

Note It takes a corporate commitment to address the physical environment.

Whilst the physical environment is somewhat obvious as it includes such elements as temperature, humidity, lighting, noise housekeeping and workplace design.

It is necessary for companies to embrace the need to manage these conditions and to fully engage with the workforce to manage and where necessary change the physical environment. Additional elements related to the organisational environment include the willingness and ability to communicate and to embrace shared values, mutual respect, and a positive culture within the company.

Note It takes a positive corporate commitment to address the physical environment.

The best organizational environment conditions occur when the values are promoted with strong leadership, effective communication, as well as shared objectives associated with safety as well as the need to ensure a profitable outcome.

Considerations for a Positive Environment

Mechanics and Certifying Staff should be trained and competent to perform all tasks correctly.

Correct performance of maintenance tasks requires an appropriate physical environment

If the physical environment is either unsuitable or unpleasant then it will have a de-motivating impact which can potentially lead to additional HF exposure.

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