1986-10-01

The Other Side of the Safety Coin 861748

Every coin has two sides and so does aerospace safety. The attractive face of the coin has the major concerns to which most everyone pays rapt attention, but on the reverse side are the so-called “little things or problems” which often times are relegated to the bottom of the incoming file. Experience has shown that “little things” individually or synergistically, no matter how apparently insignificant when first viewed, can be the cause of major adverse events. History tells us that more often than not such small problems are resolved as time and money permit. This results from a syndrome I call “The High Cost of Attending to Nits.” This paper examines some of these nits that have been the cause of substantial dollar and schedule losses, which could have been avoided were timely and proper attention given them. Emphasis is on the Space flight and ground elements and will provide the designer, test engineers and others with a useful set of lessons learned.

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