Aircraft Maintenance Technology

APR-MAY 2018

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Because it was still in testing, necessary critical LOSA training was not delivered to all employees. The workforce merely saw people with clipboards walking around ground operations. That is seldom a welcome sight. The labor leaders told employees not to worry because it was a test and, in any case, no one would record names. As fate would have it, one of the LOSA observation trainees noticed that a worker was not wearing protective shoes. Of course, that is a threat to worker safety. It was a valid LOSA observation and the observer noted it. Coincidently, the observer trainee was a friend and next-door neighbor of the manager of that area. During a coffee break the trainee saw the manager in the hallway and casually mentioned the improper footwear observation. The manager proceeded to send the worker home for the day without pay! That small incident negated nine months of planning and set the LOSA implementation back at least an additional year. The lesson learned is that you cannot half-way implement a critical program. The observer was not ready, the manager was not ready, and what little the workforce knew was wrong on the very first day. That was bad! The Ugly Story: BE SURE THAT THE POLICY IS CLEAR TO EVERYONE Just Culture implementation is not without growing pains. As early as the mid-1990s some airlines were listening to James Reason. Early adopters saw the safety, efficiency, and fairness merits of a voluntary reporting system based on just investigations. One such large carrier decided to test the voluntary reporting concepts. It was a large company with a powerful labor union. The top labor leaders and senior managers saw the potential benefits. When an event occurred everyone wanted to determine the root cause and find corrective actions. The company went to great lengths to establish reporting procedures and Just Culture policies. The combination of the union and management delivered training to everyone. Since it was a radically new program, not all managers were convinced of its value and were concerned that it might lessen accountability. Many workers were fearful that a reported error would trigger disciplinary action. Most Just Culture champions were at corporate headquarters where the largest repair facility was based. Leadership decided that the initial implementation would be at a satellite repair facility. The reasonable expectation was that it would be easier to ensure 100 percent training coverage for all of management and labor at the smaller facility. Very early in the Just Culture implementation there was a maintenance event that would require expensive rework. The workers made a mistake. The supervisors and middle management understood the error and did not take action against the errant workers. When the top manager at the satellite facility saw the cost of the error, he took immediate disciplinary action against not only the workers but also the managers who followed the Just Culture policy. The union at all company facilities justifiably pulled out of all Just Culture participation. It was years before confidence in Just Culture was restored. That was ugly! SUMMARY When it comes to voluntary reporting, there are many good, bad, and ugly stories. As you read this article, I am sure you thought of examples from your own experience. As I wrote this article and this summary, I thought of many more. Let me end on a positive note please. I went to an ASAP Event Review Committee meeting. It was like a courtroom hearing. A representative of the errant mechanic admitted that the mechanic did not follow a procedure. He reported the error. In this case, the company representative felt that there should be a stiff penalty. The labor representative felt that a mild letter of reprimand would be acceptable. The FAA member was the last to vote to achieve the necessary unanimous vote for action against the employee. He firmly stated: "I worked at an airline just like this one, with the same aircraft, for 20 years. Nearly everyone ignored that procedure. Let's stop blaming the worker and fix the procedure." Do You Know Any of These People? They are some of the winners of the 2017 AMT Next Gen Awards AMT is accepting nominations for the 2018 AMT Next Gen Awards. If you know someone that deserves recognition for their efforts as an aircraft maintenance professional — it's your chance to help them get recognized! Criteria Includes: ■ Job commitment ■ Industry involvement ■ Achievements ■ Contributions or innovations to the aviation industry ■ Candidate must be 39 years old or younger on June 30, 2018 to be eligible To nominate, visit: http://bit.ly/2018AMTNextGen NOMINATION DEADLINE: JUNE 15, 2018 AMT will recognize 40 individuals under 40 in the August/September issue. www.AviationPros.com 47

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