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Applying Human Factors

Consider how good human factors design and practice might improve your workplace. Start a thread in the Module 1 forum with a 100-word post describing a work situation you are familiar with in which human factors could be applied using information you obtained from the HP websites and the text reading. When I was working as a line pilot for West Air on one of the Fed Ex Feeders routes, flying Cessna Caravans, most of the scheduled inbound flights every evening landed between 6:00 and 7:00 pm.

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West Air policy dictated that pilots do a full ground inspection upon landing to see if their were any aircraft squawks (maintenance issues). If so the pilots were required to report them to maintenance immediately, as the Outbound flights left between 6:00 am and 6:30 am the next morning, leaving no time to fix the Aircraft at that time. Any issues with the planes had to be resolved before going to the hotel for the night. Unfortunately key maintenance personnel usually went home around pm.

This meant long waits on the ramps for the pilots while the chief of maintenance drove home (he refused to carry a cell phone), and often lead to terse phone calls. Additionally these same maintenance issues often lead to phone calls to confirm maintenance issues were resolved at 5:30 am the next morning to the head of maintenance who was still in bed. In my opinion, this was very poor workflow management. When things went exactly as planned, the pilots had Just enough time to get to the hotel, eat a quick bite, take a hewer and get seven hours of sleep.

When things went wrong, which happened more than it should have, far less than seven hours sleep were received by the pilots. Unfortunately the duty day ended when the Pilots landed, so there really was no effort to speed this process up. In fact most of the pilots felt maintenance/dispatch intentionally did this to the pilots, due to the constant friction between both groups. This often lead to some very tired pilots by the end of the week, and a bit of a academicals approach at writing up the “squawks. One thing that I think may have made the workflow much smoother for West Air would have been to institute the “Lean Concept” which was instituted at a Toyota automobile factor in which there was an among many other ideas put forward, and “Identify methods to remove waste (time) from the the production process” and to “empower and provide incentives for employees to make improvements. ” (Salsa and Mammon 2010). Applying Human Factors By Stateside

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