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Proceedings Paper

Managing human fallibility in critical aerospace situations
Author(s): Larry Tew
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Paper Abstract

Human fallibility is pervasive in the aerospace industry with over 50% of errors attributed to human error. Consider the benefits to any organization if those errors were significantly reduced. Aerospace manufacturing involves high value, high profile systems with significant complexity and often repetitive build, assembly, and test operations. In spite of extensive analysis, planning, training, and detailed procedures, human factors can cause unexpected errors. Handling such errors involves extensive cause and corrective action analysis and invariably schedule slips and cost growth. We will discuss success stories, including those associated with electro-optical systems, where very significant reductions in human fallibility errors were achieved after receiving adapted and specialized training. In the eyes of company and customer leadership, the steps used to achieve these results lead to in a major culture change in both the workforce and the supporting management organization. This approach has proven effective in other industries like medicine, firefighting, law enforcement, and aviation. The roadmap to success and the steps to minimize human error are known. They can be used by any organization willing to accept human fallibility and take a proactive approach to incorporate the steps needed to manage and minimize error.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 November 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9197, An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned III, 91970A (13 November 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2066928
Show Author Affiliations
Larry Tew, Ctr. for Error Management (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9197:
An Optical Believe It or Not: Key Lessons Learned III
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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