Commercial pressure, sometimes alternatively described as production pressure, is often an unavoidable fact of life for an increasing number of aviation service providers and their front line personnel. Pressure, whether imposed from above or self-imposed because of a perception generated by the prevailing business culture, to put greater emphasis on efficiency, output, or continued production ahead of operational safety has been a causal factor in many catastrophic accidents in various industries.
Various organisational and systemic factors contribute to production pressures, such as poorly designed workload policies of the organisation, inadequate staffing, hierarchical systems, last minute or unsolicited changes in schedules, long work hours, and lack of an effective safety culture.
Sources of Production Pressure
- Management decisions
- Inadequate allocation of resources
- Poor planning
A variety of external factors may put pressure on the organisation and its personnel, such as:
- Market competition
- Legislative framework - very demanding performance targets set by the regulator
- Contingency events
Production pressure can cause stress, can contribute to burnout, and can adversely affect safety by:
- Excessive workload
- Flawed decisions
- Spread of “cutting corners” attitude
- Loss of staff motivation
- Mistrust between operational personnel and management
Accidents and Incidents
- Hindsight: the eighth edition of HindSight focused on Commercial Pressure, published January 2009.
- The consequences of commercial pressure can be fatal, By John Barrass,
- Can we ever accept the side-effects of production pressure?, By Stathis Malakis
- Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance, Colin G. Drury, State University of New York