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Bonuses and Conflict of Safety

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Bonuses and Conflict of Safety

Old 10th Nov 2009, 05:18
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Bonuses and Conflict of Safety

Allegedly some Australian aviation companies provide incentive bonuses to employees that have direct influence over the "shop floor" to the extent of being able to control e.g. what defects will and won"t be rectified on an aircraft.
I have no objection to an individual recieving incentive bonuses, who for example, through clever management practices produces efficiency gains that reduces a company's cost structure.
However this is distinctly different from an individual who directly prevents or controls the level of maintenance being carried out on an aircraft so the "numbers" look good on the spreadsheet to ultimately determine the amount of bonus that the individual will recieve. Obviously this arrangement conflicts with safety but one could understand how a person could be influenced when remuneration is at stake.

Questions that arise, what is the policy of the CASA in relation to these remuneration arrangements and should companies who engage in these practices provide full disclosure via a register of those individuals who recieve such payments and are considered to have direct influence over the operations and maintenance of aircraft?
To determine possible confilcts of safety, is there or should there be specific legislation introduced to empower CASA to investigate if a person who is reportedly adversely influencing aircraft maintenance or operations, is remunerated by way of incentive payments.

Is there any criminal code that would cover the above matter?
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 07:31
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The regulator is the one happy with the wording "parts not available". The regulator will therefore answer the question posed by the insurance companies lawyers/QC's at a trial. All well and good to try and shovel it onto the PIC but at the end of the day if 200 people die, the people you talk of and regulator will have nowhere to hide if they have done the wrong thing. If so they will either go to jail and/or loose their assets if they are found to be criminally negligent.

Last edited by Mr. Hat; 10th Nov 2009 at 09:58.
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 08:23
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Unless there has been a major legislative change that I am not aware of then
the people you talk of and regulator will have nowhere to hide. They will either go to jail and/or loose their assets.
is not going to happen.

If I have missed something, please post a reference so I can catch up. Thanks.

Disco.
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 09:03
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Do you support the case for such legislation?
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 09:47
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Interesting

Very interesting thread you have posted Mr Proach ! Finally something one can sink their teeth into !!
My voice may be small and generally unheard, but I also believe that where 'bonuses and safety' either cross,conflict or become intertwined then you are spot on with your hypothetical question of 'a case for legislation ?'.

It is definitely worthy of discussion. Basically you have raised,in part,the area of 'accountability'. Within an Operator or the Regulator, a measure of 'responsibility' lay's with each and every individual employed. However, overall 'accountability' lays with the CEO/Director.
So my feeling is that certainly under current legislation and the Australian legal system, there is nothing definitive in regard to 'safety,remuneration,bonuses,incentive payments' etc. Should there be legislation ?? Damn Right ! Nobody in society has earned the right to dodge accountability for their actions. Full stop.

Sadly however,and in present day reality,Airline CEO's,Regulator's and Politician's generally escape punitive action when they monumentally f#*k up because society's system's are designed to protect the 'strong and bury the weak'. Legislation,processes and the legal system are designed to do exactly that.These individuals operate from the 'Politician's Handbook' which is actually quite small in nature. It simply reads - 'On all occasions it is necessary to obfuscate, spin, evade,deny, blame somebody else and create a distraction to deflect attention from the real issues' !

Now maybe I am simply a 'glass is half empty' type of person, but my belief is that unless something totally dramatic occurs within society to cause the pendulum of fairness and justice to swing towards 'the little guy' then we won't be seeing any radical changes in our lifetime.
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 09:48
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When the captain and co pilot are in a million pieces mixed with dna of 200 other people at the end of a runway/in a black hole you might find that the legal professionals will look into every single facet of the operation. So even though people might think that they are protected from being prosecuted because they sit in an office far away and 99% of documents hold the PIC responsible this might not be the case. Its happened before and it could happen again.

Google duty of care/negligence/wilful misconduct ect.
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 10:59
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Legislation designed to make such remuneration practices transparent may create more impetus for the regluator to act on possible conflicts of safety or prevent those persons within an organisation who foster an environment in which commercial objectives take priority over safety outcomes from destroying the company's safety culture before a major event occurs.
I wonder how many aviation "managers" would think twice before attempting to adversly manipulate a matter regarding aircraft operations or maintenance issues if this transparency was in place.
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 13:18
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to the extent of being able to control e.g. what defects will and won"t be rectified on an aircraft.
If you want to fly the aircraft is either airworthy or it isn't for the task about to be undertaken, MEL limitations for example.
what is the policy of the CASA in relation to these remuneration arrangements
None, zip, zero, not interested.

From the ATSB

What may be reported with REPCON?

Any matter may be reported if it endangers, or could endanger the safety of an aircraft. These matters are reportable safety concerns.

Examples include:

* unsafe scheduling or rostering of crew; or
* crew or aircraft operator bypassing safety procedures because of commercial pressures; or
* non compliance with rules or procedures.

To avoid doubt, the following matters are not reportable safety concerns and are not guaranteed confidentiality:

* matters showing a serious and imminent threat to a person's health or life
* terrorist acts
* industrial relations matters
* conduct that may constitute a serious crime.
They are not interested in industrial matters, that is, a persons salary and what hoops that person has to jump through to attain same. The only thing you can kick a stink about are those that come under the reportable safety concerns, to repeat,
* unsafe scheduling or rostering of crew; or
* crew or aircraft operator bypassing safety procedures because of commercial pressures; or
* non compliance with rules or procedures
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Old 10th Nov 2009, 22:35
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By the comments it appears there is a need for such disclosure
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Old 11th Nov 2009, 00:11
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Agree fully Mr Proach. There is one Australian employer (an extremely large company that buys and sells governments as a side line ) who use a yearly salary appraisal system to ensure pilots toe the line, company, not regulatory.
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Old 11th Nov 2009, 02:11
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IF this is true, it is disgusting.

I don't know which Company you are talking about, and don't want to either, but this is a recipe for disaster.

I have heard of this sort of thing in other Industries, there was a similar thing with truck drivers some time ago, they were paid bonuses for taking certain times on long trips, needless to say to get the bonuses they had to fiddle their rest breaks and break speed limits and lots of other road rules.

Never thought it would happen in Aviation.
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Old 15th Nov 2009, 23:32
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That's what happens when the regulator no longer regulates and allows the fox to look after the chickens in order to save money.
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