Germanwings crash – employee burnout to blame?

by Nicola Middlemiss27 Mar 2015
The Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a plane with 150 people on board had previously confessed to “burnout” according to German media.

The tragic disaster, which claimed the lives of everyone on board, highlights how underestimating the importance of employee mental health can have catastrophic effects.

Lufthansa, the operator of the low-cost Germanwings airline, said Andreas Guenter Lubitz had taken a break during his training but was considered "100 per cent fit and ready to fly."

However, the mother of one of Lubitz’s former classmates told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine that Lubitz had confessed to her daughter that his “break” was actually due to "a burnout, a depression."

Representatives for the airline insist Lubitz had been thoroughly tested and cleared before being allowed back behind the controls but many will questions are now being raised about how effective the airline’s employee mental health protocol is.


  • by Sarah 27/03/2015 3:07:29 PM

    There is no excuse, burnout or otherwise, to take the lives of 149 innocent people. Only terrorists and total psychos commit this type of atrocity. Psychos are specially good at masking their mental condition, and many can breeze through psychological tests, counselling, etc. This is why most serial killers are able to maintain good jobs and even mix socially in a normal way.

  • by Michael 27/03/2015 4:47:56 PM

    A little quick for these suggestive questions I would have thought. Nevertheless, regarding how effective employee tests are - well - I believe those faining wellness fool doctors, so employers must be easy pickings especially when employee "rights" and "entitlements" force employers to manage circumstances they would ordinarily prefer to not. Lets hope that this was not one of those cases where an employer unable to demonstrate a reasonable nexus between a condition and a work, was obliged to return the person to their previous work.

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