The United States Navy's behavioral scientists and the HFACS Framework

The United States Navy's behavioral scientists developed the HFACS (Human Factors Analysis and Classification System) to analyze performance decrements in aviation workers. The development of the framework encountered various stumbling blocks related to human performance affecting aviation accidents. The Swiss-Cheese paradigm is used to integrate the HFACS process into the safety program ("HFACS, Inc. | The HFACS Framework", 2017). The Swiss-Cheese model summarizes the main causes of aircraft accidents. Yet, examining such accidents requires a systemic approach.

The HFACS and its approach to minimizing aviation accidents

The HFACS regards humans as the most significant problem in the cause of accidents, but not as a cause of accidents. The framework uses many strategies whereby other multiple barriers are established in the system to make it efficient even in the future. As a result, organizations have developed four levels of restrictions which are sequential in nature whereby the top barrier affects the others. Notably, the barriers are grouped either as active or latent. A proper utilization of this model produces accurate, useful results which help in minimizing aviation accidents.

The SHELL model in the aviation system

The SHELL model

It is an abstract model of human factors which clarifies the scope of different human factors which assists in understanding the relationship between the human component and the aviation system resources in the flying subsystems. The model is made up of software, environment, livewire and hardware whose initials form the name of the model. It places emphasis on human interfaces and various components which make the aviation system safe ("SHELL model - Aviation Knowledge," 2017). The SHELL model adopts a perspective of the scheme which suggests that a person is a rare cause of an accident. Notably, it has a perspective which considers a diversity contextual which is related to various task-related factors which interrelate with the human operators in the aviation system.

The SHELL model and its focus on operator performance

The SHELL model mostly deals with those factors which affect the performance of the operator. As a result, it considers all sources and failures which are either latent or active just like the HFACS model. However, each element in the SHELL model epitomizes a building block where the human factors affect aviation. Notably, the human element forms the center of the model which represents the air transportation system. It is also the most flexible and critical component in the aviation system which interacts with the other components making the model ("SHELL model - Aviation Knowledge", 2017). The human part is composed of the human characteristics which describe various issues which include the physical shape and size, the inputs, fuel requirements, the environmental tolerance and information processing which are all combined and utilized with the other main components of the model to achieve success in preventing and reducing aviation accidents.

The 5M model and its role in achieving aviation safety

The 5M

The 5M model is made up of various components which are joined to accomplish a primary goal and objective using different strategies. The first element of the 5M model is the mission which is the main feature that gives the system a good direction. As a result, it is taken as the central function of the aviation systems. Notably, it brings all the other units of the model together. The second element is a man. It is a part which deals with human maintenance, operation, and installation. It is the chief organizer of the entire system ("System Safety," 2017). On the other hand, the machine is the other element which stands for the software and hardware used in exploring the causes of aviation accidents. Notably, this portion includes the flight firmware.

Media is the other element which comprises the environment and the surroundings surrounding the air system. It includes various actions such as various factors affecting its maintenance, installation, and operation. Notably, it includes the ambient and the operational conditions of the system. It extends to include the functions and mission under which various plans are executed. Media includes the traffic density, workload of the workers and communication conditions mentioning a few ("System Safety," 2017). Markedly, it also describes various conditions which include humidity, temperature, the electromagnetic effects, radiation, vibration, and more other issues which can cause aviation accidents. The last but not the least is management which includes all the policies, procedures, operations, installations, and the decommissioning of the aviation systems. In general, all elements of the 5M model are coordinated together to come up with various causes of aviation accidents. Through this way, the model plays a crucial role in reducing accidents in the aviation system.

The four pillars of Safety Management System

Safety Management System Pillars Program

The four pillars of safety management are important because they contain effective practical strategies. However, the four pillars utilize a formal security system. The main components are broken into smaller elements which make the system more useful because the items are broken down into smaller specific units which are easy to operate (Walker, 2017). The pillars are broken down into safety policies, risk management, security assurance, and the safety promotion posts. Notably, the components are also useful because they are made up of simple guidelines which are easily manageable. As a result, the security managers can focus on the safety assurance and manage all risks on time hence avoid any future accidents which can occur in the aviation system. Notably, overlooking these pillars is dangerous to the workers, the organization, and the surroundings. As a result, the safety managers should integrate all principles of the four pillars of safety management systems in all areas within the aviation system.


HFACS, Inc. | the HFACS Framework. (2017). Retrieved 29 May 2017, from

SHELL model - Aviation Knowledge. (2017). Retrieved 29 May 2017, from

System Safety. (2017). Retrieved 29 May 2017, from

Walker, D. (2017). What Are Four Pillars of SMS Programs - With Free Resources? Retrieved 29 May 2017, from

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