Avionics News March 2018 - 13

mnemonic PEAR model to recall the four considerations
for assessing and mitigating human factors in aviation
maintenance:
*	 People who do the job.
*	 Environment in which they work.
*	 Actions they perform.
*	 Resources necessary to complete the job.
The PEAR model has become a staple of all follow-on
human factors training that I have done since.
For years, it was used throughout the industry: It
makes sense. Then a revised version was updated by the
Australian government's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Still rooted in the PEAR model, the agency expanded
on each of the elements to better describe factors that
could, and often do, compromise safety. But again,
its program is written to and for engineers. Without
management support, we cannot implement any of the
recommendations.
When you look at human factors, each can compromise
the professionalism of aircraft maintenance. But what
I noticed, and what none of the training adequately
addresses, is that effective implementation requires
an understanding and encouraging culture as well as a
management structure. It clearly shows a partnership
between management and the individual to manage
human error.
Take for instance the People element of the PEAR
model. This element includes, physical, physiological,
psychological and psychosocial factors. The physical
characteristics include size, gender, age, strength and
sensory limitations.
You might read this list and say, "OK, I'm a middleaged man." What is your point? Well, as a technician,
there isn't much I can do about the physical factors - you
are who you are! But management can consider these
physical factors and limitations. Also, the individual
must be aware of the limitations. My vision isn't as good
as it once was (I need more light to read menus). After
45 years in aviation, my hearing isn't what it used to be
(forget the hi-def stereos). And I don't do the extended
days like I did when I was 20. Yes, I must manage
myself, but management also needs to consider these
limitations when assigning work - I may not be the best
choice to read the fine serial number print, upside down
in the avionics bay.
The physiological factors of the People element
include such issues as: nutrition; health; lifestyle;
fatigue; and medications. When you consider these
factors, they appear to be all personal issues. But let's
look deeper. We won't get into lifestyles here; that one

is quite personal. And while management may recognize
its limitations, there isn't much they can do about an
unhealthy lifestyle other than encourage a healthy one.
On the other hand, many health insurance companies
have programs that encourage companies to address
better nutrition and health; both of which can pay
rewards in the workplace with better attendance, fewer
sick days, and better focus resulting in improved safety
and efficiency.
Reporting fatigue and medications takes a positive,
nonpunitive culture. Sure, the company can manage
the work schedule and address excessive overtime. But
most fatigue is from nonwork-related activities. Having
an open, communicative, and nonpunitive culture
allows an employee to openly admit that he or she is
fatigued without fear of retribution, thereby allowing
management to "manage" the fatigue rather than finding
out about the impaired work due to fatigue during an
accident or incident investigation.

Managing human factors
only works when you have a
management system to support it.
And the same is true for medications. How many
warnings for medication recommend not driving or
operating heavy machinery? We don't drive to work
and then perform safety-sensitive tasks. If I am taking
medication that doesn't allow me to drive, causes
sleepiness, or isn't allowed for pilots, maybe I shouldn't
be performing safety-critical tasks without supervision!
As an individual, I certainly am responsible for
knowing what medication I am taking and what the
effect is, as well as communicating with my doctor what
my occupation is and the criticality of my work. From
a management side, having an open, communicative,
and nonpunitive culture that encourages an employee to
report any medications they are taking without fear of
retribution is critical, thereby allowing management to
"manage" rather than react later.
Additionally, some of the categories are primarily the
responsibility of management.
The Environment element is driven primarily by
management. It addresses the work environment, not
the weather, and includes physical and organizational
Continued on page 80
avionics news

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march

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News March 2018

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