Advancement of Crew Resource Management Beyond Aviation

Topics: Nuclear power, Management, Oil platform Pages: 12 (4523 words) Published: December 6, 2011

Crew resource management (CRM) is an essential tool within the aviation industry. Its value and effectiveness in the advancement of safe operations has been widely acknowledged by academia, industry, and regulators alike. Similarities exist between aviation and other high-risk industries such as medicine, nuclear power plants, and offshore oilrigs. Acknowledging these similarities, these organisations have adopted aviation CRM to improve safety and enhance threat and error mitigation. This article will investigate the application of CRM and its variants within these organisations and discuss the benefits and limitations of its application. It is evident that CRM is an essential tool in improving the reliability of high-risk industries. Key words: CRM, RRM, ACRM, error, teamwork, communication

Advancement of Crew Resource Management beyond Aviation
Crew resource management (CRM) is now a widely accepted philosophy across many aviation organisations as an effective threat and error mitigation strategy in team performance. Following several catastrophic aviation accidents, CRM was introduced in the aviation industry with the objective of improving coordination and corporation between crewmembers. Since then, through the evaluation of effectiveness of programs, CRM has now evolved as a counter measure to error propagation by promoting teamwork, coordination, situational awareness, good decision-making, and effective communication. The success of CRM in the aviation industry has not gone unnoticed; other organisations that rely on teamwork for production outputs, particularly in the medical industry, have attempted to adopt aviation CRM within the context of such organisations as an error mitigation strategy. This assignment will focus on other high-risk organisations and there approach to threat and error mismanagement through the implementation of CRM type programs. The paper will first discuss the characteristics of high hazard organisations (HHO) and its move towards high reliability organisations (HRO). Normal Accident Theory and High Reliability Theory will be explained in the context of HHO and HRO respectively. The assignment will then discuss the proliferation and the need for CRM in other HHOs. In doing so, it will present examples of accidents where the effective use of CRM principles may have prevented the occasioning of such accidents. NOTECH skills, error management, and organisational influences will be discussed as drivers of CRM type training; the influences of each of these drivers in the advancement of CRM will be discussed. The limitations of CRM and its variants in high-risk environments will be briefly discussed. This paper will articulate that the adoption of CRM in high-risk environments outside the aviation industry, have advanced organisations from high-hazard to high-reliable organisations. From HHO to HRO

HHOs are by definition extremely complex systems that, through the very process of performing its core business, pose a significant threat to its employees and the communities it serves. According to Carroll, Rudolph and Hatakenaka (2002), the operations of HHOs are such that a single event can cause catastrophic outcomes leading to multiple fatalities, severe injuries, and equipment failure. Organisations within industries such as aviation, nuclear power plants (NPP), offshore oilrigs, rail systems, and health are all high-risk organisations with significant threat to humans. The Pan American Airways and KLM crash at Tenerife on Mar 27th 1977 killing 549 passengers and crew (National Transportation Safety Board 1977); the Chernobyl nuclear reactor incident on Apr 26th 1986 that accounted for 30 fatalities and many more radiation injuries (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation 2008); the Deepwater Horizon accident on Apr 20th 2010 which accounted for 11 fatalities, 17...
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