Pandemic Opportunity for a Safety Stand Down

By Scott Spangler on March 23rd, 2020

When things go chronically wrong in aviation, a safety stand down is an efficient and effective treatment because you stop all operations and dissect what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been doing it to ferret out—and fix—the root causes of what’s been going wrong.

As we socially distance ourselves to temper the spread of Covid 19, conducting an individual safety stand down would be a productive use of our time isolation. We should start with an honest assessment of our cultural, social, and political practices, focusing on their contributions to the medical, social, and economic challenges we now all share. And if they exacerbate the problem rather than remedy it, we should consider changing them.

maslowA safety stand down assessment is straightforward. What is most important to you? Start with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The foundation is the basic needs of food, water, warm, dry shelter, and security. With the pandemic putting many around the world out of work, these essentials are daily questions many are looking to government to answer.

Look at the solutions our elected officials are putting forward. Who do they benefit, and to what degree? What would benefit individuals more, corporate tax cuts, or a robust program of paid leave that would help employers see their employees through the pandemic’s shutdowns?

Some might say another tax cut would enable employers to do that. Perhaps. In our safety stand down assessment, we should look at how well that worked for employees with the trillion-dollar tax cut of several years ago.

160301154509-legroom-comparison-graphic-640x360Being aviation companies, one might expect the airlines to have used aeronautical decision-making, used their government-given tax bounty to make life better for their customers and employees, and prepared for a rainy day by paying down their debt and putting come cash aside for emergencies. Instead, they increased ticket-tax exempt fees, shrank seats, and used most of it to buy back stock that enriched their shareholders and the executive. And now that the rainy day will be around for an unseen period, they are lining up for a bailout. If they get one, we should implore our elected officials to include some conditions that benefit customers and rank and file employees.

Preventing problems from reoccurring is the ultimate goal of a safety stand down. Like the outbreaks of bird flu, N1H1, and Ebola that preceded it, Covid 19 offers another learning experience of preventive procedures. During our safety stand down assessment, we should support those who promise to heed that lesson and support it with focused preparation and funding.

unmotivated-students1And we should be open to related revelations. For example, parents who become home schoolteachers might realize, when they present their children with a structure, academic goal, that maybe they were wrong to blame teachers, and that maybe they have underpaid and under-supported for way too long. Consider this: Depending on how long it takes us to corral the corona virus, many people may not have jobs to go back to, and home schooling may become the new normal.

Given this perspective, as a society, we can only hope that any beneficial change resulting from a safety stand down assessment has an eternal self-like, not one of a New Year’s resolution. – Scott Spangler, Editor

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3 Responses to “Pandemic Opportunity for a Safety Stand Down”

  1. Fred Ducolon Says:

    I suggested to Boeing as a Boeing employee , on a internal corona virus article , that Boeing buildings and jets should use UV light technology. Being used in US hospitals now ,to kill germs and viruses in there heating and air conditioning systems! And heard the flu is one step closer to getting this new virus?

  2. Pandemic Opportunity for a Safety Stand Down – AeroSpace News Says:

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