Centre of Applied Research Technology

Effects of Employment Costs and Task Load on Human Error


Market competition and global financial uncertainty have been the principal drivers that impel aviation companies to proceed to budget cuts, including decreases in salary and work force levels, in order to ensure viability and sustainability. Under the concepts of Maslow and Herzberg’s motivation theories, the current paper unfolds the influence of employment cost fluctuations on an aviation organization’s accidents attributed to human error.

This study exploited financial and accident data over a period of 13 years, and explored whether rates of accidents attributed to human errors of flight, maintenance, and ramp crews, correlate with the average employment expenditures (N = 13). In addition, the study took into account the relationship between average task load (ratio of flying hours per employee) and accident rates related to human error since task load, as part of total workload, is a constraint of modern complex systems. The results revealed strong correlations among accident rates linked to human error with the average employment costs and task load. The use of more specific data per aviation organizational department and professional group may further validate the results of this study. Organizations that seek to explore the association between human error and employment budget and task load might appropriately adapt the approach proposed.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 1 December 2015

Publication date

Dec 2015


Nektarios Karanikas