Essays on Organisational Human Factors and Safety in the News - Investigations to the Crashes Assignment

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The paper "Organisational Human Factors and Safety in the News - Investigations to the Crashes" is a wonderful example of an assignment on management. The first instance is that of the report on the investigations to the crash in June 2008. The report is clear on the fact that evidence has been gained through a process of specialist investigation wherein specialists removed nine "pitot tubes" out of a total of 84 seized from Air France and found that some were either slightly or highly degraded pointing to a doubt on them not being cleaned often enough (Telegraph Report, 2010).

The jet's speed probes the report states, gave faulty readings, and were "one of the factors" in the crash but "not the sole cause". This is a manifestation of the systems approach which states in essence that accidents are a manifestation of a manifold chain of events with the incident/accident/injury as the endpoint (Friend and Kohn, 2007). Danger develops or is minimized due to interaction between the elements of the machine such as hardware, the people, and the manner in which the interaction takes place between the two, the procedures within which people are bound, organizational rules, and the environment (Goetsch, 2002).

The theory conceptualizes incidents of air crash as manifestations of not just an event, but a chained process which has a succession of events and conditions. These differ in terms of the location of the sequence and the manner in terms of the availability of information, the likelihood of changing the event or condition, and the political or social ramifications that characterize the event (Elvik, Hoye, and Tru Vaa, 2009). In the context of this case, the dominoes theory again finds application given the fact that Heinrich’ s Domino Theory states that accidents result from a chain of sequential events, metaphorically like a line of dominoes falling over.   When one of the dominoes falls, it triggers the next one, and the next… but removing a key factor (such as an  unsafe condition  or an  unsafe act) prevents the start of the chain reaction.

This was further developed in the multiple causation models by Bird and Loftus (1983) wherein it was tat stated behind any given accident there would be many contributing factors causes and subcasuses.

The theory basically states that these factors combine together in a random fashion, causing accidents. These are made up of the unsafe act, the unsafe condition, and the correction. If the correction does not indeed take place then an accident is bound to occur. The idea essentially is based on the concept that it is a lack of management control that leads to the basic cause of an accident, which could be a job factor such as unguarded machinery or a person factor such as lack of adequate training.

This would then lead to the intermediate cause which is the unsafe act or condition which would in turn cause the accident (Banfield and Kay, 2008). 1.2. The second report focuses on the crash that killed the Indian chief minister for the state of Andhra Pradesh in the southern part of the country. The report focused on the cause of the crash outlining the fact that the probable cause of the accident was that it “ occurred due to loss of control resulting in uncontrolled descent in the terrain at a very high rate of descent due to entry into severe down draught” .

It was again focused principally on the human reasons for the crash stating that the time that the pilots spent going over the manual proved to be fatal. The search for cause in the context of this particular investigation is largely hindered by the reductionism trend that seeks to explain every7thing in terms of neurological functions. There is a certain logic to that in the sense that human functioning is based on what went on in the brain of the pilot while he wasted time in reading and rereading the manual.


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