Human Performance in Maintenance (HPIM)

 
 
 

Human error is an inevitable byproduct of human activity.  In the aviation industry, training to reduce human error and increase efficiency of operations has been around since the late 1970s for flight crews.  However, though overlooked for many years, human errors in aviation maintenance have been identified as contributing causal factors in several accidents and incidents.  The United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) suggest human error in aviation maintenance is likely to increase in coming years due to increasing air traffic and stringent requirements of commercial schedules imposing increased demands upon aircraft utilisation.  This will result in more flight hours, decreased time between maintenance schedules, and increased pressures on maintenance operations for on-time performance.  Further, aircraft fleets and their parts are aging resulting in maintenance intensive aircraft requiring more inspections.  This increased inspection (including Non-Destructive Testing – NDT) burden on maintenance personnel creates stressful work situations not only because increased labour but also the serious consequences of missing the frequently subtle signs of aging.+ Since maintenance incidents have the potential to affect the airworthiness of aircraft as well as threaten the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) of workers, managing human error becomes paramount.

Accidents such as Aloha Airlines Flight 234, Air Ontario Flight 1363 in the late 1980s heightened concern over human performance issues in aviation maintenance (inspections, operational pressures, effects of shift-work), sparking the development of training to increase awareness of such issues in aviation maintenance.  This training became known as Human Performance in Maintenance (HPIM) or Human Performance in Aviation Maintenance (HPIAM) aimed at reducing human error in aircraft inspection, repair and overhaul.±  It is thought that the best results in error reduction will occur with this training, and thus there is a world-wide trend of regulators making such training mandatory. 

Basic, Advanced, and Refresher Training available in house customised to your organisation (including Aftermarket Services).

Common modules include:
 
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Threat and Error Management

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Human Performance

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Stress and Fatigue

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Conflict Resolution

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Communication and Assertiveness

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Leadership and Teamwork

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Norms

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Operational Pressures

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Complacency

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Situational Awareness

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Decision Making

 

For More Information

+ UK CAA (2002). CAP 718 – Human factors in aircraft maintenance and inspection. London, UK: HMSO.

± McKenna, J.T. (2002, October). Maintenance resource management programs provide tools for reducing human error. Flight Safety Foundation - Flight Safety Digest, October 2002 - Vol 21 No 10. Alexandria, USA.


© Dutcher Safety & Meteorology Services (2006)
Last Updated: 18 Dec 06