What the Aviation Industry Can Teach Healthcare in Preventing Harm

February 19, 2015

10AM PST—11AM Arizona – 11AM MST—Noon CST—1PM EST

Speaker: Gary Rogers has been involved in the maintenance of Boeing tandem rotor helicopters almost continuously since 1966. In April, 1978, he began a 36-year career with Columbia Helicopters. During that time, he went to Sudan as part of a 21-man, three-aircraft Columbia team contracted by the U.S. government to haul food to refugee camps during a famine. Experiences obtained by Rogers as a member of an aircraft recovery crew in Vietnam sparked a lifetime interest in aviation safety. Almost forty percent of the aircraft losses in Vietnam (which included 3300 helicopters destroyed) were due not to enemy fire, but to accidents. Human error, both active and organizational, was most likely a factor in most of those accidents, although there was little systematic study and research into human performance was rudimentary.

In 2006, he took temporary leave from Columbia Helicopters to complete a six-week course in Aviation Safety and Security presented by the University of Southern California. The course included Aircraft Accident Investigation, Safety Management Systems, and Human Factors. He holds Certificate Number 1319. Subsequently, he assisted the Director of Safety in creation of Columbia’s Safety Management System and has participated in accident investigations involving the company’s aircraft. In 2013, he was awarded the Rolls Royce Excellence in Aviation Maintenance Award at the HAI convention in Las Vegas. Although he retired from Columbia Helicopters in 2014, he continues to provide training to the Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Description: Crew resource management (CRM) is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating results. CRM was developed as a result of aircraft accident investigation and has been successful in addressing the root causes of numerous catastrophic aircraft accidents. CRM also has uses beyond the aviation industry. Human error was the root cause of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown, the Bhopal pesticide leak which killed over 4000 people, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and hundreds of other industrial disasters. In any human activity that involves safety, there are common causes of human error including poor communication, lack of assertiveness, distraction, complacency, fatigue, stress and lack of knowledge. For each factor, safety nets can be developed to prevent harm including strengthening interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making skills.

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