Archives for January 2012

Can-Do Resistance

I landed in a snowstorm yesterday presenting at least two challenges. First there’s visibility–seeing the runway. That is a measurable thing reported from ground equipment near the runway. Secondly there’s stopping ability which is most often reported by landing pilots so others behind them know what to expect. If I hit the brakes and slow down nicely then braking action is good. There’s also “fair”, “poor” and “nil” which is a British word which means “hello snowbank”.

The machine’s visibility reporting is reliable and accurate because machines are not nearly as complex as people. Pilot reports of stopping ability are fairly reliable but not with machine precision. In fact, the stopping ability was not as good as reported yesterday. Why does that happen?

People have layers like
what they think,
what they think others will think, and
what they think others will think OF THEM.

A pilot, being a can-do person, will always be reluctant to say “I cannot do that”. All of us have internal resistance to overcome when going from CAN-DO to CANNOT-DO. Pushing through that resistance to find the honest truth is difficult, but KEY to accident avoidance.

Sudden Death

When Suzanne Hart stepped across the threshold of an elevator in Manhattan a few days before Christmas, the prospect of sudden death was not on her mind. When the elevator car shot up with the door still open and Ms. Hart in the shear zone, bystanders could only look on in horror.

We want to believe safety is assured as long as we aren’t reckless. But this victim’s untimely death was like a lightning bolt out of the blue. Can we make sense of it? Were maintenance procedures skipped or the inspection schedule exceeded? Whatever it is, a cause will be found, a person will be blamed, and procedural changes will be made.

Can we make sense of it from a human tragedy point of view? Yes. When you cut corners, eventually someone gets hurt or killed. That is the tragedy we should anticipate when we allow our safety culture to deteriorate.

Free Study Guide

Every high-risk enterprise MUST have a culture of safety to minimize accidents. Well, how do you do that? A culture of safety is developed through personal responsibility, procedural compliance, and appropriate leadership at every level. The Pulling Through Study Guide provides a framework for developing that kind of culture.

The study guide can be used alone as a safety training curriculum, but will be greatly enhanced with the program entitled, “Pulling Through Every Time” available from this site. In this video, Jeff “Odie” Espenship describes events surrounding the loss of his brother in an aviation accident.
Your company could benefit from this study guide and optional DVD if:

• Teamwork and personal responsibility matter,
• You cannot afford shortcuts in procedures,
• You need to set and maintain high standards of personal conduct in daily operations.

Follow the “sign up” link on this site to receive a huge discount on any of our DVDs.