Safety In Aviation
Part1: Explain the following terms and give relevant examples from theindustry:Incident
Incidentis an occurrence involving circumstances showing that there was ahigh likelihood of an accident and is connected with aircraftoperation, which in the case of human operated aircraft occursbetween the time any individual boards the plane with the intent offlight until such moment when such individuals have alighted(Wiegmann& Shappell, 2012).If the aircraft is unmanned, occurs between the time the plane isready to take off with the purpose of flight until such a moment itcomes to a halt at the end of the flight and the main propulsion unitis shut down. For example, while boarding a 737-800 a kid fell fromthe top of airstairs sustaining an injury which required 24 hourshospital care (Bahr, 2014). Even though not a serious injury, fallsof such caliber have caused serious injury or fatality, thus, it wasa reported serious incident.
Accordingto the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13, anaviation accident entail an occurrence related to aircraft operation,which occurs between the time any individual boards the aircraft withan intent of flight till all such people have landed, where anindividual has been seriously or fatally injured, the aircraftsuffers damage or technical failure or the aircraft is missing orentirely inaccessible (Bahr, 2014). Where the accident entails damageto the aircraft to the extent of being written off, it is referred toas a hull loss accident. An example is an accident that involvedflight 737 during takeoff which had a tail-strike incisive thefuselage skin and damaged the pressure bulkhead (Chesters,Grieve & Hodgetts, 2014).This badly impacted the structural strength of the airplane and wouldnecessitate a major restructuring.
Anemergency entail a situation whereby the safety of an aircraft or ofindividuals aboard or on the ground is threatened for whatever reason(Wiegmann& Shappell, 2012).An emergency may occur due to various reasons within or outside theairplane including fire in the aircraft failure or malfunction of anaircraft component like engine failure, loss of pressurization, ormalfunction of landing gear fuel shortage or other importantconsumable material uncertain of location by flight crew aircraftdamage due to collision, extreme weather or bird strike worseningweather incapacitation of the pilot like illness illegal activity like bomb threat or hijacking. An emergency may result toimpossibility to continue the journey to the planned destination andmay lead to forced landing, loss of altitude or diversion to a nearbyairport. For example, on June 1982, on its route to Kuala Lumpur fromPerth, A British Airways Flight 9 plunged into a cloud of volcanicash which made its four engines to lose power but three of themeventually recovered and was able to divert to Jakarta for anemergency landing (Alexander,2013).
Arisk in aviation can be defined as the impact of uncertainty onobjectives. The UK Regulator of Air Traffic Services defines it asthe combination of the likelihood or frequency of incidence of adefined hazard and the degree of the consequences of the incident(Browne, 2014). For example the presence of trees in the airportpresents potential risk as they may influence or obstruct wind,thereby inconveniencing landing.
Part2: Explain the various types of risk and/or incidents that companiesare exposed to (in Aviation).Casesof incidents and risks proved to be the challenging issues that everyaviation industry experience. Many companies in the aviation industryexperience all types of risks, however, the risks occur duringdifferent times. According to Ferguson(2014),there are four types of risks associated with an aviation industry.One of the risks involved is the total risks that contain both theidentified and unidentified risks.
Totalrisks involve those incidents that are known or bound to happen andthey cannot control easily. As such, total risks include commonincidents such as pilot fatigue, which may result in lack ofefficient control of the plane. The outcome of pilot fatigue islikely to be a lack of effectiveness of plane control resulting inaplane crash.
Asstated by Hawleyand Means (2013),aresidual risk is the remaining risks after reduction of the existingrisks. Residual risks are also an acceptable risk because it remainseven after thorough elimination is done. Residual risk is anidentified risk that shows the imperfection of human during riskelimination. The unidentified risk refers to the risks that areunrealized but appear unexpectedly. As such, it is only identifiedafter it has happened. An unidentified risk occurs after a mishap inany mechanical system. An example of unidentified risk is any newproblem that has never been experienced before in any aviationindustry (Priceand Forrest, 2009).
Amongthe acceptable risk involves the outcome of the pilot decision when aplane is at greater risk of crashing. An acceptable risk mightinvolve the noise, which personnel are exposed to even after thecorrection of the mechanical system. An acceptable risk is allowedbecause one can take measures to limit its effects. Acceptable risksare those that are dependent on one-person decision such as when apilot should choose where to land in the case of any mechanicalproblem likely to result in accident. The risk that is possibly tooccur depends on how right or wrong is the pilot’s decision (Hawleyand Means, 2013).
Unacceptablerisk is another known type of risk, which can be eliminated. Anexample of such unacceptable risk may be having a fatigued pilot onduty. A fatigued pilot is likely to be the biggest hazard in anyaviation company (Vacca,2013).Consequently, unacceptable risk, which is controllable, is anothertype of risk experienced within every aviation industry. Unacceptablerisks are controlled at an early stage before they appear, ashazards. All the unacceptable risk should either be controlled oreliminated by becoming a biggest hazard (Rodriguesand Cusick, 2011).
PlaneHijacking is a common risk, which frequently occurs in mostcompanies. The aviation industries are aware of the hijacking risksbut continue to offer their services because hijacking isunpredictable (Ganderet al., 2011).
Incidentsof fire explosion are a risk that the aviation companies experienceor foresee to happen. Fire outbreak started from the system failureof the aircraft is one risk that is foreseen, and the companyexperiences it as a challenge. Some of the causes of aircraftexplosion lie within the failure of the company. Some companies usesome outdated hardware when correcting any simple mechanical problemignoring the risk that is likely to cause. Some risks are categorizedas acceptable risks. Several risks are encountered daily in aviationindustries. Some of the risks encountered become the base in whichone can identify the other possible risks (Fergusonand Nelson, 2013).
Part3: Compare and contrast 3 main risk models and theories that exist(in Aviation):1.TheFour T`s model for dealing with unacceptable risk
Aviationindustry is one of the most sensitive transport industries in theworld. It is vulnerable to various risks including accidents,terrorism, disease pandemics like Ebola among others. There istherefore need to manage these risks to minimal. The 4 T-Model is oneof the models that aviation industry players can use in mitigatingrisks. It includes four elements which are
Transferringrisks: this is the process of transferring risks through the help ofdifferent forms of insurance, or remittance to third parties who areready to take the risk on the organization’s behalf (Grote, 2012).
Toleratingrisk entails an occurrence where no action is taken to control ormanage a risk. It may be due to the cost of instituting riskmitigation or minimization activity being not cost effective or therisk of consequences are at very low that are considered acceptableto the organization. Even when the risks are tolerated, a follow upshould be made as future changes may make the risk to be intolerable(Grote, 2012). This is quite risky in aviation industry as risks ofany nature should never be tolerated. There must be measures to dealwith all risks regardless of their nature due to sensitivity of theaviation sector (Grote, 2012).
Treatingrisk: this is a way of controlling risk by actions that minimize thelikelihood of occurrence of a risk or its impact before it occurs.Different contingent measures can be developed to minimize the impactof an incident once it occurs (Grote, 2012). In aviation, this is oneuseful way of ensuring that unacceptable risks do not occur.
Terminatingrisk: this is one of the most basic but often overlooked models ofdealing with risk. Terminating risk should be the most preferredwhere possible as it basically involves elimination of risk. This canbe achieved by altering a naturally risky process or practice inorder to eliminate the risk (Grote, 2012). Similarly, it can beapplied when reviewing processes and practices in all areas of theorganization. If something presents a risk, and can be removed orchanged without necessarily affecting the organization, then removingthe risk is the best option that should be considered rather thantrying to treat, transfer or tolerate it.
2.Threat and Error Management
Threatand error management (TEM) is a system approach to safety in aviationwhich was developed initially by human factors scholars at theUniversity of Texas. It was embraced by airlines world over andrecognized as a global best practice by various entities includingthe International Civil Aviation Organization, International AirTransport Association, Joint Aviation Authorities to mention a but afew. The TEM model assists in understanding, from an operationalpoint of view, the link between safety and human performance invibrant and challenging operational situations (Maurino& Seminar, 2005).
Athreat is defined as a situation or incidence that has the potentialto influence negatively on the flight safety or any influence thatenhances chances for pilot errors. Threats can be environmental,latent or operational. Environmental threats may include terrain,airport conditions, other traffic, and adverse weather. On the otherhand operational threats may include aircraft malfunction,maintenance error, cabin events, operational pressure, groundhandling error and crew handling errors. Latent threats includetraining deficiencies, hardware design, systematic and organizationaldeficiencies (Dawson,Chapman & Thomas, 2012).Stress, distractions and fatigues are also considered threats.
Errorsare actions or inactions of the crew that cause a deviation from crewor company’s expectations or plans reduce safety margins orincrease the likelihood of adverse operational events. To minimizerisks, TEM model recommend various strategies including briefing ofpassengers, pre-take off briefs, systematic scan, checklists andSADIE (Dawson,Chapman & Thomas, 2012).
3.Swiss Cheese Model
TheSwiss Cheese Model or Accident Causation Model as it is sometimesknown is a theoretical model which shows how accidents occur in anorganization. This model focuses on both organizational structure andhuman error. According to this theory, accidents happen because manyhuman errors have occurred at all stages in the organizationalstructure in a manner that makes such accidents unavoidable (Wiegmann& Scott, 2004). For instance decision makers may have made bad decisions whenprocuring an aircraft (a fallible decision), line managers may havepersisted for rapid turnarounds (line management deficiencies), crewmay have felt stressed coping with poor weather, bad culture and lackof rest (preconditions), where the particular pilot causing theaccident may have been distracted with additional tasks a few secondsto the accident (unsafe act) and the aircraft systems failure toprovide unmistakable precautions of the hazard (inadequate defenses).Thus, the key aspects in the cause of an accident include
Activeerrorsor unsafe acts, which are the proximal cause of the disaster, e.g.the pilot was distracted prior the accident. Had he not beendistracted, the accident would not have taken place (Wiegmann& Scott, 2004).
Latenterrors:these are the remaining elements in the organization which resultedto the accident principle managers’ decision to purchase, linemanagers push, unsafe weather, poor culture, fatigue and confusingwarnings. If these latent errors had not been there, the accidentwould never have happened.
Windowsof opportunity:This is the opportunity for all the above errors to occur. Forexample, hadn’t the pilot got obstructed, he would have preventedthe occurrence of the accident. However, the latent errors remainingunsorted, hence waiting for an opportunity to strike (Wiegmann& Scott, 2004).
Causationchain:this refers to all the entire inclinations of all necessary windowsof opportunity at every level in the organization, thus, causing acertain accident. That is, the resultant of most accidents can beretrieved to the ‘window of opportunity’ opened at every level inthe company.
TheSwiss Cheese Model and the Threat Error Model seem to agree on thecauses of accidents in aviation. They both focus on human errors.However, the 4T model explains on how to reduce risks and manageunacceptable risks.
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