Which is the most important of the four human contributions to safety presented in the textbook

Question: Which is the most important of the four human contributions to safety presented in the textbook: Shared Representations, Situation Awareness, Adaptation, or Preemptive construction of the Operating Environment? Answer: In my opinion, Situation Awareness is the most important of the human contributions to safety described by Salas and Maurino. Situation awareness is comprised of three levels: perception, comprehension, and projection (Endsley, 2016). This involves being aware there is a problem, figuring out what the problem is, and deciding on a solution to the problem. All parties having a shared representation is only successful if everyone is aware of what is going on. In the textbook example of an aircraft’s arrival clearance the involved parties have different priorities. An air traffic controller is focusing on all aircraft on the arrival being safely spaced while the pilot is focusing on executing a stabilized approach. If the controller isn’t aware enough to realize there is another aircraft behind the one currently trying to stabilize their approach, he may not be able to safely space them in order to avoid wake turbulence and it won’t matter that the pilot is conducting a stabilized approach. Adaptation deals with information gathering, prioritizing tasks, and reevaluating decision making methods when disruptions occur (Salas and Maurino, 2010). If an individual or all members of the team are not situationally aware, they will not know they need to adapt their strategies to a changing environment. Preemptive construction of the operation environment is a close second to situation awareness, as if I have learned anything working in aviation it is that the earlier a problem is detected and dealt with, the easier it will be to overcome. Constructing a flight deck or maintenance hangar to overcome known issues (i.e. the utilization of an autopilot to free a pilot’s attention to focus on other tasks) is a great way to avoid repeating some accidents that have occurred due to high workload phases of flight. I believe situation awareness is still the most important human contribution to safety because no matter how much planning goes into a flight, unexpected situations will always occur and keen situation awareness is required to spot these sudden issues before they pose a danger. References Endsley, M. R. (2016). Designing for Situation Awareness: an Approach to User-Centered Design, Second Edition. CRC Press. Salas, E., & Maurino, D. (2010). Human Factors in Aviation(2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier.