Who has the accountability in aircraft maintenance? The Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) of course. Supervisors or fellow technicians who advise you how to accomplish a task are not responsible for what happens if it is done incorrectly. If maintenance is not done properly, it could result in an incident which will cause you to have to file an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) report. The number one cause of ASAP reports or involvement with the FAA is failure to follow the maintenance manual.
How do we get the word out to AMTs of the changes in the maintenance manual and different maintenance tasks? Word of mouth works, but each and every time you accomplish a task, you should check the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) to find if there are any changes. In every task you do, trust that you did the job correctly, but verify that it was done in accordance with the AMM. We need to practice this policy regardless of how long each task takes.
We need to be safe while performing all tasks and ensure that the correct tools and parts are available. We need to have a safety culture that is proactive and not reactive. In the recent past we have had technicians fired for shortcuts or not following the rules. Do you want to jeopardize your license, your livelihood on one act that could have been easily performed if you would have simply followed the procedures? Remember that poor planning on someone else’s part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on yours.
In our new corporate environment, we are deemed replaceable and need to be very mindful of everything that we do while at work. We also need to follow the rules as that is what they are there for - an infraction could very easily lead to your dismissal. Be aware of your environment, your tasks at hand, and what is required of you, and make sure to cover all the bases. Above all, be safe, as the life you save might be yours.