While many existing taxonomies and frameworks provide a common vocabulary for describing how human operators fail in the context of sociotechnical systems, at present, there is no common vocabulary to describe how humans succeed. Such a framework would facilitate systematically collecting and analyzing data on how human performance can produce safety, not just how it can reduce safety. One potentially rich source of currently available information for exploring desired performance is the reports submitted to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). These de-identified, confidential, and voluntary narrative reports are submitted by pilots, controllers, ground operators, and others within aviation operations. While these reports are primarily submitted to describe safety risks, incidents, and problems, they also often describe how those risks were mitigated, and provide a window into aspects of everyday work in aviation. This paper describes an analysis of ASRS narratives to understand how operators talk about their own resilient behaviors during adverse safety conditions and events. Guided by Erik Hollnagel’s Resilience Assessment Grid framework (i.e., anticipate, monitor, respond, learn), we illustrate our approach and methodology with examples from reports. We also highlight some of the challenges and how further research is needed in developing a taxonomy of operators’ descriptions of resilient performance.
& Matthews, B.
(2021). Reports of Resilient Performance: Investigating Operators’ Descriptions of Safety-Producing Behaviors in the Aviation Safety Reporting System. 42nd International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 122-127.