Organizational climate and its relationship with aviation maintenance safety
Hernandez, Alison E.
Buttrey, Samuel E.
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Naval Aviation is continually looking for ways to reduce its mishap rate. Recognizing a glowing concern for issues related to aging aircraft, focus has expanded to include maintenance operations. It is accepted that human error is a causal factor in at least eighty percent of all mishaps, with maintainer, line, or facility-related factors accounting for one out of five major mishaps. One of several actions taken to reduce the mishap rate is the Maintenance Climate Assessment Survey (MCAS). Created to give Naval Aviation unit commanding officers a sense of the maintenance climate of their unit, the MCAS reveals the maintainer's perception of safety climate. Beginning in July 2000, the MCAS administration became available via the Internet. This thesis analyzes the results of the first 2,180 responses recorded via the Internet version of MCAS. Findings include: a) administration of the Internet-based MCAS yields results similar to the paper-and-pencil version; b) differences were detected among the participating units and the Model of Organization Safety Effectiveness components; c) the relationship between MCAS score and Incident Rate, although slightly negative, is indistinguishable from random variation; and d) there was no evidence that demographics bias the results. These findings could be accounted for by the fact that a unit's safety climate typically improves after a mishap. Requiring all units to complete the survey annually would allow tracking over time to uncover trends. One area for further research is investigating the feasibility of adapting the MCAS to afloat and ashore units.
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