Extracting Cultural Factors from Helicopter Accident Reports Using Content Analysis
Authors: Helen Omole, Guy Walker, Gina Netto
Abstract: Accident reports from the United Kingdom and Nigerian civilian helicopter industry were compared in order to explore the wider socio-cultural factors and their impact on human error. These two countries share many common features of helicopter operations, including a prominent offshore oil industry, but they differ in terms of the cultural context these operations take place within. Content analysis was carried out in order to explore the cultural variables influencing human error leading to accidents. Results show Nigeria accident reports revealed more of the high cultural contextual differences themes (cultural traits associated with Third World or traditional countries) with patches of low cultural differences (cultural traits associated with Western countries), while the United Kingdom accident reports revealed more of the low cultural contextual differences themes, but surprisingly higher patches of the high cultural differences. Analysis of these results enhances the understanding of the relationship between culture, human actions and various system parts contributing to unsafe acts leading to helicopter accidents. Cultural factors are prominent in the sampled accident reports, yet culture is currently not well represented in accident analysis methods. This is a significant omission. This paper demonstrates that culture plays a significant role in helicopter accidents, and that these factors can be extracted for real life scenarios.
Keywords: Human Factors, Culture, Helicopter Accidents, Human Action, Human Systems
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