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

Anastasios Plioutsias, Konstantin 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
    Title of host publicationMATEC Web of Conferences
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Cross-Industry Safety Conference (ICSC) – International Symposium on Aircraft Technology, MRO and Operations (ISATECH) (ICSC-ISATECH 2019)
    PublisherEDP Sciences
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020
    EventICSC-ISATECH 2019: International Cross-industry Safety Conference (ICSC) and the 2nd International Symposium on Aircraft Technology, MRO and Operations (ISATECH) - Holiday-Inn, Arena Tower, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 9 Oct 201911 Oct 2019

    Publication series

    NameMATEC Web of Conferences
    ISSN (Print)2261-236X


    ConferenceICSC-ISATECH 2019
    Internet address


    • Maintenance
    • Repair and Overhaul (MRO)
    • Safety Differently
    • Safety Interventions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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