Labor involvement is critical for a successful LOSA program. Labor representatives should be on the development team and act as the driving force. One important benefit of early involvement is that maintenance and ramp workers have the best understanding of the work environment and can provide key information to help with LOSA development. If an organization does not have labor representation, a few key line representatives should be selected to represent the workforce.
Labor and management should discuss how they will implement their LOSA program and how they will resolve questions and conflicts. Many current voluntary safety programs benefit from the establishment of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (PDF) between management and labor.
Informing Maintenance and Ramp workers
Maintenance and ramp workers should be informed in advance about the purpose and planned implementation of a LOSA. They should receive a letter (PDF) cosigned by credible representatives of both management and labor that assures them of the confidential and non-jeopardy status of LOSA data. The letter should also include a disclaimer giving all workers the choice of declining a LOSA observer at their discretion. Only by building in these guarantees and safeguards will the maintenance and ramp workers feel sufficiently comfortable to act normally in the presence of a LOSA observer. A final assurance should be an in-house publication of a summary of LOSA results along with an outline of initial actions and proposed changes.