Safety differently: a case study in an Aviation Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul facility

Anastasios Plioutsias, Konstantinos Stamoulis, Maria Papanikou, Robert J. de Boer

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This paper presents the findings from a ‘Safety Differently’ (SD) case study in aviation, and specifically in a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organisation in Southeast Asia. The goal of the case study was to apply a new method of safety intervention that is part of the Safety Differently toolkit and utilises a bottom-up approach. This research tested the extent to which these interventions could be embedded into a continuous improvement program in a highly controlled environment, namely an Aviation MRO. The interventions (called micro-experiments, ME) are considered as a flexible tool, which allows testing of process improvements in a safe to fail way, empowering the lower levels of the organisation, challenging safety related issues and revealing key areas in need of transformation. The ideas for the interventions considered in the case study were retrieved from interviews conducted with 50 mechanics, and include issues to address aviation safety and occupational health as well as quality. We elected to include all three categories in this study as the ME approach is applicable to all of these. This MRO case study showcases the benefits and limitations of the ME in aviation, revealing the conditions under which it may become useful. Future studies should further explore the role of complex and heavily controlled industries in similar bottom up approaches, so that interventions can become part of a continuous improvement plan.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalMATEC Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


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