Examining the Safety Climate of a General Aviation Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Organization: A Replication Study and Application of Bandura’s Reciprocal Causation Model
Tokarski, Russell Vincent
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The primary purpose of this study was to examine the safety climate of a general aviation original equipment manufacturer maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility relative to Fogarty’s (2005) and Uhuegho’s (2017) respective empirically-derived safety climate path models, and Bandura’s (1977) theoretical reciprocal causation model. The study used an explanatory correlational design, and the primary data collection instrument was Uhuegho’s Aviation Maintenance Safety Climate Survey, which consisted of Fogarty’s 48-item Maintenance Environment Survey and Goldberg and Williams’ (1988) 12-item General Health Questionnaire. The target population was all aviation maintenance technicians employed at the targeted MRO’s U.S. facilities, which complete scheduled/unscheduled light-to-heavy maintenance on general aviation single and multiengine turbine aircraft as well as GA single and twin reciprocating engine aircraft. The accessible population was AMTs who were employed at the central Florida facility, and the sample consisted of N = 90 AMTs who volunteered to participate. The results of an SEM analysis validated Fogarty’s (2005) model but not Uhuegho’s (2017). Consistent with Fogarty, the study confirmed that AMTs’ perceptions of their organization’s concern for safety-related issues, their supervisors’ level of expertise and the amount of assistance they receive, and the amount and quality of feedback they receive from their supervisors significantly influence safety climate. The study also confirmed that AMTs’ psychological stress/distress levels have a negative effect on maintenance errors and mediate the relationship between safety climate and errors. Study results also supported Bandura’s (1977) model with significant reciprocal paths between safety concern and errors, safety concern and stress, stress and errors, and feedback and errors. Findings suggest that addressing employees’ perceptions of their organization’s concern for workplace safety, being sensitive to the feedback supervisors provide, and reducing workplace stress—for example, by supporting paid mental health leave or allowing for flexible work hours and/or remote working when feasible—can have both a direct and indirect effect on mitigating workplace maintenance errors.