This week I have attended to the 2 days conference about Human Factors in Aviation Safety organised by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).

 

Thanks to the CIEHF, it has been possible that Human Factors practitioners and specialists of the Aviation sector meet and share knowledge and experiences.

It is the second conference about Human Factors in Aviation I attend, the first one organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), and it has been a great opportunity to do networking and meet ex-colleagues from Boeing.

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Specialists from the academic world, the industry, government, organisms, etc. have exposed results of investigations, conclusions and recommendations.

 

There has been a major presence in the programme of papers related to the Air Traffic Industry together with Air Operations, as for example, the projects part of the EU-funded Future Sky Safety Programme, Eurocontrol or NATS between others.  The human factors errors related to the increase in air operations, together with automation as remote ATC towers, are topics being investigated and being used in other fields as maintenance, design or manufacturing.

 

It is worth to highlight that despite being a Human Factors conference, the term Safety Culture has been present throughout the majority of the program.

It is reasonable to think that many times referring to Human Factors will lead to mention the Safety Management System, as it is the frame of our complex systems of work, driven by the Safety Culture. Human Factors and Safety Culture go together in organisations.

 

There have also been presented papers about Human Performance, Situational Awareness, Reporting, accident analysis methods, etc. and some of them through case studies.

 

All this amount of knowledge and projects going on make me think how difficult is for small organisations to proactively incorporate these practices and recommendations. Many times because safety roles are embedded in other different positions existing in the company without the capacity to invest more time.  That is why I firmly believe how important is that regulators and manufacturers assist incorporating new requirements, design concepts, etc. and create standards.

 

In the meantime, I really recommend to attend to these type of conferences to know what is coming explained by and for Human Factors specialists.