Human Factors

Human Factors

Jamie D Hart Aviation safety Human Factors in Aviation Aviation as a whole has many problems that effect day to day operations. From bad maintaince practices, accidents, incidents and faulty training and SOPs. In the past it was said to be the fault of the machine. Now with inspecting and research it has been established that it is more due to human error than that of the machine. Since the end of WWII human factors issues have become a huge concern in aviation safety. It’s estimated that anywhere between 90% to 95% of aviation accidents and incidents are caused by human factors.

Human factors is a all encompassing effort to compile data about human capabilities and limitations and apply that data to equipment, systems, software, facilities, procedures, jobs, environments, training, staffing, and personnel management to produce safe comfortable, ergonomic and effective human performance. The FAA is currently making an effort to integrate human factors into all aspects of aviation where safety is a major concern. As a result the FAA issued FAA order 9550. 8 which is a human factors policy that states the following: Human factors shall be systematically integrated into the lanning and execution of the functions of all FAA elements and activities associated with system acquisitions and system operations. FAA endeavors shall emphasize human factors considerations to enhance system performance and capitalize upon the relative strengths of people and machines. These considerations shall be integrated at the earliest phases of FAA projects. The FAA has realized that when most individuals think of a system or project, they usually consider only the tangibles such as hardware, software and equipment. Most individuals fail to think about the end user of the product, the human being.

Therefore during systems designing consideration for different aptitudes and abilities are never considered. The FAA’s combating this predominant thought pattern by the introduction of what is known as “Total System Performance”. Total System Performance is a measure of probability. The probability that the total system will perform correctly, when it is available, is the probability that the hardware/software will perform correctly, times the probability that the operating environment will not degrade the system operation, times the probability that the user will perform will erform correctly. It’s been discovered that a system can work perfectly in a test environment, demonstration site or laboratory and then not perform as well once the human being enters the loop as the operator. In order to compensate for this fact, human factors must be accounted for and integrated into new systems. By doing so there will be increased performance accuracy, decreased performance time and enhanced safety. FAA research has indicated that designing systems to improve human performance is cost effective and safe when done early in the developmental stages of a project.

Some potential human factors to consider during research and development stages are functional design, safety and health, work space, display and controls, information requirements, display presentation, visual/aural alerts, communications, anthropometrics and environment. With repetition and good training programs a lot of these occurrences can be at least minimized. The strange thing is that when companies do cut backs usually the first thing to go is the training programs. A lot of companies look at this as and added cost that is not necessary but on the contrary it is a vital part to keep employees up to ate and current which will allow them make less mistakes A lot of aviation services put safety on the back burner when it affects the bottom line. From the CEO standpoint when a company begins to lose money cut backs will start the first thing to go are training programs. Training should not be cut for various reasons. It improves employee morale (and thus loyalty). Also it will ensure that employees are well trained for their roles, have professional development opportunities, and receive regular motivation and rewards. Unfortunately, in many companies raining and continuing education have been victims of the economic downturn. This can be very damaging because it comes at a time when employees most need the morale boost. It is very difficult to convince accompany to invest in ongoing employee Training because it will be looked at as an extra cost. Which makes it very difficult for a company to thin about the overall business? case and importance of training. Aside from the significant impact on productivity and moral, tradition are many more important reasons why accompany should think twice before lashing training budgets. By offering continuing education and training, a company demonstrates that they are invested in the employee and that the relationship between the company and employee is a two-way street. This has a real impact on loyalty. If you have loyal employees, they are willing to work hard (increasing productivity) and stay with you longer (reducing hiring and training costs, as well as potential liabilities from disgruntled employees. Training programs keep employees current with new rules or policies, leading to better compliance and risk management.

This can help prevent costly mistakes and/or minimize exposure to expensive litigation. Clients or customers are better served, too, by more informed employees. Ongoing education helps prepare employees for promotions or other career advancement. Companies that promote from within often enhance employee loyalty significantly. It is also less expensive to promote a worthy employee than hire someone new because the learning curve is so much shorter. When it becomes necessary to teach new skills, such as how to use or implement new technologies, there are economies of scale and cost eductions from doing so in a group training session rather than one-on-one or by letting employees figure things out by themselves. It also reduces employee frustration with new systems, overcoming one of the main contributors to resistance to change Teamwork and esprit de corps is promoted in training programs. Besides the educational components, many training programs also offer a chance for motivation, team building, and other essential skills. Training programs are a good place to hear the “voice of the employee. ” This is where employees can have a chance to express their opinions or share their ideas.

It’s disheartening to see how many companies are being shortsighted when it comes to training budgets in this economic downturn. A more careful analysis might surprisingly reveal that there The importance of training has been realized since the inception of manned flight. From the early days of gliding it was usual for “pilots” to sit in the glider, which was exposed to a strong facing wind and “feel” the controls by keeping the wings in a horizontal position. Thus, even before the glider flew, the pilot had some experience of the lateral controls. The fliers of the first owered aero-planes learned by proceeding through a graded sequence of exercises on real aircraft. After passenger flights, a student would perform taxiing, where a low powered machine is driven along the ground enabling rudder control to be practiced. He would then graduate to a higher powered machine and would first make short hops using elevator control. After longer hops pilots would eventually achieve flight. A variation of this method, known as the “penguin system”, in which a reduced wingspan, land borne aero-plane was used, which was developed during World War I.

In this machine the student pilot could learn the feel of the controls while proceeding along the ground. This method was used at the French Ecole de Combat with a cut- down Bleriot monoplane, but was considered as early as 1910. Other early devices attempted to achieve the same effect, especially for the testing of new aircraft prototypes, by using aircraft moving at speed supported by balloons, overhead gantries or railway bogies. Related to these ideas were the first proposals for truly ground-based trainers which were, in effect, aircraft tethered to the ground, but capable of responding to aerodynamic forces.

One such device was referred to the Sanders teacher. The Teacher was to a constructed from components which could in fact be used to build an actual flying machine, and was really an aircraft mounted on a universal joint in an exposed position and facing into the prevailing wind. In this way it was able to respond in attitude to the aileron, elevator and rudder controls as would an actual aero-plane of the type. Unfortunately, as was the case with many of these early devices, it was not a success, probably because of the unreliability of the wind. A similar device was that constructed by

Eardley Billing, the brother of Noel Pemberton Billing, at about the same time, and was available for use at Brooklands Aerodrome . Also around this period came about one of the first truly synthetic flight training devices. [pic] This photograph was published in 1910, as can be seen, it consisted of two half-sections of a barrel mounted and moved manually to represent the pitch and roll of an aero-plane. The prospective pilot sat in the top section of this device and was required to line up a reference bar with the horizon. [pic] This is a picture that represents how in there is an incident or accident in viation everyone blames the other person but in reality it is an overall group effort that causes accidents or incidents. Ergonomics also plays a major role of decreasing human error in avionics In the United States, the discipline of human factors and ergonomics, is generally considered to have originated during World War II, although advances that contributed to its formation can be traced to the turn of the 20th century. Prior to World War II, the focus was to design the human to fit the machine by trail and error, instead of designing machines to fit the human.

Many of the human factors and ergonomic advances originated from the military needs to better accommodate the of the military aviation community. With the start of World War I, the first conflict to employ the newly invented airplane in combat, the need arose for methods to rapidly select and train qualified pilots. This prompted the development of aviation psychology and the beginning of aero-medical research. Although advances were made in this time period, according to Meister (1999), the impetus for developing the discipline wasn’t met due to a lack of “critical mass of technology and personnel as there was in World War II”.

The time between World War I and World War II saw a reduction in research, although some achievements were made. Aero-medical research continued to see advances in laboratories built at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas and Wright Field in Ohio. These laboratories performed studies that focused on further identifying the characteristics of successful pilots, and determining what effects environmental stressors had on flight performance. Also, the study of human body measurements was applied to the design of airplanes in this time period.

In the private sector, automobile driving behavioral research was also conducted (Forbes, 1939). The outbreak of World War II, and the two inherent needs it generated, formed the catalyst for developing the human factors and ergonomics discipline. First, the need to mobilize and employ vast numbers of men and women made it impractical to select individuals for specific jobs. Thus, the focus shifted to designing for people’s capabilities, while minimizing the negative consequences of their limitations.

Second, World War II witnessed the tipping point where the technological advances had finally outpaced the ability of people to adapt and compensate to poor designs. This was most evident in airplane crashes by highly-trained pilots due to problems with control configurations and instrument displays. Also, enemy contacts were missed by motivated radar operators. Experimental psychologists were retained to study these issues by adapting laboratory techniques to solve applied problems.

Consequently, the discipline of human factors and ergonomics was born, even if the people involved didn’t realize it at the time The two decades following the end of World War II saw the continuation of military-sponsored research, driven in large part, by the Cold War. Military research laboratories established during the war were expanded and additional ones were developed by the Army (Human Engineering Laboratory), the Air Force (Air Force Personnel and Training Research Center), and the Navy (Naval Electronics Laboratory).

Universities also established laboratories, with the assistance of government funding, including ones at the University of Illinois (Aviation Psychology Laboratory) in 1946, and Ohio State University (Laboratory of Aviation Psychology) in 1949. The private sector saw the establishment of human factors and ergonomics groups in aviation companies and electronics and communication. Human Factors Society, the main professional organization for human factors and ergonomics practitioners in the US, was formed in 1957 with more than 90 people attending the first annual meeting.

The name was changed to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in 1992. Today the society has more than 4500 members, many of whom participate in one or more of the 23 technical groups, local and student chapters, and attend the annual meeting. Starting in the mid-1960s, the discipline continued to grow and develop in previously established areas. Moreover, it expanded into other areas including computer hardware (1960s); computer software (1970s); nuclear power plants ; weapon systems (1980s); the Internet ; automation (1990s), and adaptive technology (2000s), just to name a few.

Most recently, new areas of interest have emerged including affect, neuroergonomics, and nanoergonomics. A consistent theme that has emerged over the years is the ever expanding sphere of influence human factors and ergonomics has sought to encompass, as technology advances and grows. What started out as a narrowly defined break off of experimental psychology that focused on the interaction of people with machine controls has grown to encompass almost any interaction of people with their surroundings.

With the rapid advances in science and technology, in such areas as bio- and nanotechnology, it’s interesting to speculate on what newly discovered problems human factors and ergonomics will be called on to solve. Several authors have theorized about the future directions for the discipline, including Brewer and Hsiang (2002), Cacciabue (2008), Hancock and Diaz (2002), Rasmussen (2000), and Vicente (2008). Today, as it was at its inception, HFE remains a multi-disciplinary profession. In the United States, the profession grew from the behavioral sciences, like experimental psychology, and certain engineering disciplines.

Among European nations, the profession finds its roots in the physical sciences, like human physiology. Today, individuals from a number of disciplines ranging from psychology, engineering and physiology, focus their unique skills and abilities to the study of how people interact with. Changing the design to decrease humans making mistakes will also cut down own failures. Boeing being one of the front runners in aviation has found many ways to redesign their practices. Over the past several decades, safer and more reliable designs have been responsible for much of the progress made in reducing the accident rate and increasing efficiency.

Improvements in engines, systems, and structures have all contributed to this achievement. Additionally, design has always been recognized as a factor in preventing and mitigating human error. When Boeing initiates a new design activity, past operational experience, operational objectives, and scientific knowledge define human factors design requirements. Analytical methods such as mockup or simulator evaluations are used to assess how well various design solutions meet these requirements. Underlying this effort is a human-centered design philosophy that has been validated by millions of flights and decades of experience.

This approach produces a design that applies technology in the best way to satisfy validated requirements. Over the past several years, airplane maintenance has benefited from an increased focus on how human factors can contribute to safety and operational efficiency. In maintenance, as in flight deck design, Boeing employs a variety of sources to address human factors issues, including, chief mechanic participation, computer-based maintainability design tools, and fault information team. customer support processes.

Chief mechanic participation modeled on the role of chief pilot, a chief mechanic was appointed to the 777 program and to all subsequent airplane programs (717, 737-600/-700/-800/-900, 757-300, and 767-400 Extended Range [ER]). As with the chief pilot, the mechanic acts as an advocate for operator or repair station counterparts. The appointment of a chief mechanic grew out of the recognition that the maintenance community contributes significantly to the success of airline operations in both safety and on-time performance.

Drawing on the experience of airline and production mechanics, reliability and maintainability engineers, and human factors specialists, the chief mechanic oversees the implementation of all maintenance-related features. Computer-based maintainability design tools began with the 777 program, Boeing stopped building full-scale airplane mockups, which in the past helped determine whether a mechanic could reach an airplane part for removal and reinstallation. Now, using a computer-aided three-dimensional interactive application (CATIA), Boeing makes this type of determination using a human model.

During design of the 737-600/-700/-800/-900, Boeing used human modeling analysis to determine that the electrical/electronic bay needed to be redesigned to allow a mechanic to access all wire bundles for the expanded set of avionics associated with the updated flight deck concept (fig. 2). In addition to ensuring access and visibility, human factors specialists conduct ergonomic analyses to assess the human capability to perform maintenance procedures under different circumstances.

For example, when a mechanic needs to turn a valve from an awkward position, it is important that the force required to turn the valve must be within the mechanic’s capability in that posture. For another example, when a maintenance operation must be accomplished in poor weather at night, secure footing and appropriate handling forces are necessary to protect the mechanic from a fall or from dropping a piece of equipment. Human factors considerations in maintenance also led to the formation of the FIT.

During development of the 737-600/-700/-800/-900, Boeing chartered the FIT to promote effective presentation of maintenance-related information, including built-in test equipment (BITE) and maintenance documentation. The FIT charter has since expanded to promote consistency in maintenance processes and design across all systems and models. The goal is to enable mechanics to maintain all Boeing commercial airplanes as efficiently and accurately as possible. This cross-functional team has representatives from maintenance, engineering, human factors, and operators.

One of the team’s primary functions is to administer and update standards that promote uniformity among Boeing airplane maintenance displays. For the text of these displays, Boeing has created templates that provide for common fault menus for all systems. The interface should look the same to the mechanic regardless of the vendor or engineering organization that designs the component. Engineers responsible for airplane system design coordinate their BITE and maintenance design efforts with the FIT.

The FIT reviews all information used by the mechanic, including placards, manuals, training, and size, location, and layout of controls and indicators, and works with the engineers to develop effective, consistent displays. The team also provides input and updates to Boeing design standards and require In the early 1990s, Boeing formed a maintenance human factors group. One of the group’s major objectives was to help operators implement the Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) process.

The group also helps maintenance engineers improve their maintenance products, including Aircraft Maintenance Manuals, fault isolation manuals, and service bulletins. As maintenance support becomes more electronically based, human factors considerations have become an integral part of the Boeing design process for tools such as the Portable Maintenance Aid. In addition, the group is developing a human factors awareness training program for Boeing maintenance engineers to help them benefit from human factors principles and applications in their customer support work.

Failure to follow procedures is not uncommon in incidents and accidents related to both flight operations and maintenance procedures. However, the industry lacks insight into why such errors occur. To date, the industry has not had a systematic and consistent tool for investigating such incidents. To improve this situation, Boeing has developed human factors tools to help understand why the errors occur and develop suggestions for systematic improvements. Two of the tools operate on the philosophy that when airline personnel (either flight crews r mechanics) make errors, contributing factors in the work environment are part of the causal chain. To prevent such errors in the future, those contributing factors must be identified and, where possible, eliminated or mitigated. The tools are, Procedural Event Analysis Tool and Maintenance Error Decision Aid. This tool, for which training began in mid-1999, is an analytic tool created to help the airline industry effectively manage the risks associated with flight crew procedural deviations. PEAT assumes that there are reasons why the flight crew member failed to follow a procedure or made an error and that the error was not intentional.

Based on this assumption, a trained investigator interviews the flight crew to collect detailed information about the procedural deviation and the contributing factors associated with it. This detailed information is then entered into a database for further analysis. PEAT is the first industry tool to focus on procedurally related incident investigations in a consistent and structured manner so that effective remedies can be developed. Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) is a tool that began as an effort to collect more information about maintenance errors.

It developed into a project to provide maintenance organizations with a standardized process for analyzing contributing factors to errors and developing possible corrective actions (see “Boeing Introduces MEDA” in Airliner magazine, April-June 1996, and “Human Factors Process for Reducing Maintenance Errors” in Aero no. 3, October 1998). MEDA is intended to help airlines shift from blaming maintenance personnel for making errors to systematically investigating and understanding contributing causes. As with PEAT, MEDA is based on the philosophy that errors result from a series of related factors.

In maintenance practices, those factors typically include misleading or incorrect information, design issues, inadequate communication, and time pressure. Boeing maintenance human factors experts worked with industry maintenance personnel to develop the MEDA process. Once developed, the process was tested with eight operators under a contract with the U. S. Federal Aviation Administration. Since the inception of MEDA in 1996, the Boeing maintenance human factors group has provided on-site implementation support to more than 100 organizations around the world.

A variety of operators have witnessed substantial safety improvements, and some have also experienced significant economic benefits because of reduced maintenance errors. In conclusion human factor is a very valor part in the effectiveness of how aerospace operate it is something that should not be ignored. No matter what is done there are always situations and circumstance that are one the human mind. Stemming from stress about everyday. Trying to complete a job as fast as possible to complete a job on time. To just being over worked and having lack of sleep.

This is a part of aviation that can never be changed completely but can be limited. The Impact of Employee Development: Why You Can’t Afford to Cut Training Programs Terri Pepper Gavulichttp://www. officearrow. com/training-and-certification/the-impact-of-employee-development-why-you-cant-afford-to-cut-training-programs-oaiur-5859/view. html Brewer, J. D. , ; Hsiang, S. M. (2002). The ‘ergonomics paradigm’: Foundations, challenges and future directions. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 3, 285-305. Cacciabue, P. C. (2008). Role and challenges of ergonomics in modern societal contexts.

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Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 3, 115-123. Meister, D. (1999). The history of human factors and ergonomics. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. O’Brien, T. G. , ; Meister, D. (2001). Human factors testing and evaluation: An historical perspective. In S. G. Charlton ; T. G. O’Brien (Eds. ), Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evalution (pp. 5-20). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Rasmussen, J. (2000). Human factors in a dynamic information society: Where are we heading? Ergonomics, 43, 869-879. Taylor, F. W. (1911).

The principles of scientific management. New York, NY: Harper ; Brothers Publishers. Vicente, K. J. (2008). Human factors engineering that makes a difference: Leveraging a science of societal change. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 9, 1-24. Wickens, C. D. , ; Hollands, J. G. (2000). Engineering psychology and human performance (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. CURT GRAEBER CHIEF ENGINEER HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING BOEING COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES GROUPhttp://boeing. com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_08/human_textonly. html, 2011

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