Is English Language Training an Integral part of Safety Training in your Industry?
Federal Aviation Administration Releases Guidance for Evaluating English Proficiency.
Citing impact on safety, FAA clarifies guidelines on acceptable English proficiency for Maintenance, Repair & Operations [MRO] personnel.
“Poor communication is top on the list of accident and incident contributing human factor.” Source: www.labourmobility.com
The FAA has released a draft revision to the agency’s guidance material on what exactly it means to “read, write, speak and understand the English language” for purposes of meeting mechanic and repairman eligibility standards. International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] language proficiency standards, upon which the Aviation English Language Standard [AELS] would be based, originally were published in 2004 in response to increased focus on human factors and findings that the use (or misuse) of language contributed directly or indirectly to the loss of lives in three accidents.’ The ICAO standard grades English language aptitude on a scale of one to six, from pre-elementary to expert. The FAA, as recommended by ICAO, has landed on level four as the minimum required for those holding an FAA airman certificate. The proposed AC provides resources for ICAO-recognized English training courses and assessments.
I read the above article with great interest. Firstly, it must be noted that the Aviation industry leads the world in safety standards and for obvious reasons; if pilots can’t communicate with air traffic controllers, the results would be catastrophic. There still are incidents but now they have internationally defined English standards which ensure responsible people reach a proficient level, those incidents are greatly minimised.
Other industries also prioritise safety, such as Mining, Construction and Oil & Gas to name a few. However, to my knowledge, none of them have so far introduced English language training to international standards on a global scale.
Many do conduct extensive language training but it is often haphazard and conducted on a local level.
Should this be a lesson learned from the Aviation world? Should other industries roll out language training combined with their existing safety training?