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Airlines in Zero


A similar  approach was taken by the Airline Industry a few years ago.  An entire world wide industry employing nearly one million people was born in the 20th Century when air travel became common place.  It is currently reported that there are over 2000 airlines operating worldwide.  Today, according to internet sources, the global air transport industry operates more than 23,000 aircraft, providing service to over 3700 airports. In 2010, the world’s airlines flew almost 30 million scheduled flight departures and carried over 2 billion passengers with safety as a major concern.  The following is taken from the New York Times.


October 1, 2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 — After two infamous crashes in 1996 that together killed 375 people, and since a White House commission told the airline industry and its regulators to reduce the domestic rate of fatal accidents there has been strong progress internationally. William R. Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, recently calculated that if the 1996 accident rate had remained the same in 2006, there would have been 30 major accidents last year. Instead, there were 11.0 percent over 10 years. That clock ended Sunday. They have come close to reaching that goal. Barring a crash before midnight Sunday, the drop in the accident rate will be about 65 percent, to one fatal accident in about 4.5 million departures, from one in nearly 2 million in 1997.


“It’s not one thing. It’s a series of ‘small things’,” said John Cox, who was an Air Line Pilots Association safety representative for 20 years. Many of those small things were minor problems observed in everyday operations, he said, then counted, scrutinized and eliminated “before” they caused an accident.


This can be called working “ahead of the power curve.”


The same approach can be used to improve safety in any industry to reduce employee injuries. The research performed for the construction industry by The Construction Industry Institute (CII) is an example of this. After looking at and performing detailed analysis of 122 construction projects with hundreds of contractors adn sub-contractros the CII researchers reported nine major categories of leading indicator leadership efforts that were producing the very best in safety performance, with some results reaching teh amazing records of zero OSHA recordables for a million hours and more.


Within these nine categories were a sizable number of "small" building block items” that when used in an informed manner have been shown to result in a zero injury outcome for one million hours and more.  The “building block items” are predominately of a type one could call “people focused technologies.” The term “technologies” is used to bring a proper focus to these “items.” Each has within its’ successful implementation details that when closely examined are but socially technical, people focused, details of how to go about a proper implementation of a research found technique. Sometimes these details are to be carried out by line employees, other times by line managers, and sometimes by the safety staff and not a few times by top company leadership.


Too expensive you wonder? “Not so,” say the successful who agree that a 500% ROI awaits those who venture into this exciting “possibility” of creating a worksite which can operate a million hours with zero OSHA Recordables.


*Global Airline Industry Program

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