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Hazard Identification In Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organisations: The Management Of Risk Attitude

Short, J. & Sikora, I. (2016). Hazard Identification In Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organisations: The Management Of Risk Attitude. In: International Scientific Conference on Science and Transport Development (ZIRP 2016): Perspectives on Croatian 3PL Industry in Acquiring International Cargo Flows. (pp. 181-191). Zagreb, Croatia: Fakultet prometnih znanosti (University of Zagreb).


Risk is an unavoidable part of the aviation industry, and describes both an inherent uncertainty, and an appreciation of the degree to which this uncertainty matters [9] . It is a well - known aphorism that ‘one cannot manage what one cannot measure’, and so the identification of hazards is the first step towards the management of safety risk [11] . A hazard may be defined as something with “the potential to cause harm”, yet different attitudes and perceptions mean that their recognition may be highly subjective because of “[exposure] to sources of explicit and implicit bias” . This means that what appears hostile to some may appear benign to others [9] . In an effort to promote safety and sustain airworthiness, Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMO) are one of the most regulated aspects of the aviation industry. As an imperfect, human - built and human - led system, basic fallibility means that the performance of any aviation organisation will unavoidably deviate that which is planned. This research has shown that a balance of compliance and flexibility is essential to the continued operation of such systems in an “uncertain and dynamic world”, and so aviation is reliant upon the management of risk attitude to provide an enveloping response to uncertainty and safety risk [16] . Through analysis of the safety performance of an EASA registered Part 145 AMO, this project has shown that risk attitudes and perception play an integral role in the identification of safety risk. Whilst the scope and nature of the various risk attitude biases could not be fully quantified, further analysis has shown that Safety Performance Monitoring and Measurement is the first step toward this goal, whilst helping to reduce uncertainty and manage subjectivity across the operational environment. Recommendations address the mitigation of conscious, subconscious and affective biases, and aim to enhance situational awareness and improve hazard identification. These include the standardisation of the risk assessment process, improved levels of quantitative performance monitoring, and improved awareness amongst operational personnel of the potential impact of specific situational risk attitude influences. Ultimately, this research has shown that the greatest asset to any AMO is its constituent staff members, and the promotion of risk attitude and error wisdom has been shown to enhance operational safety by allowing personnel to develop their understanding and management of their own limitations, whilst adapting their risk attitude to that required by the situation, the context and their skills.

Publication Type: Book Section
Publisher Keywords: Safety management, safety risk, hazard identification, risk attitude, Part-145, approved maintenance organisation
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Accepted Version
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