What Is Safety Management Training
Don’t confuse safety management training with “training for managers in a safety program.” They are not the same thing.
Safety management training is simply any safety training whose goal is to allow employees to better manage their own safety and the safety of others around them.
Safety management training can be generic across all types of aviation industries, and may be specific to certain types of providers. For example, whereas all providers should have hazard identification training, helicopter operations should have aviation safety management training that is specific to helicopters.
Who Is Target Audience of Aviation Safety Management Training
The target audience for aviation safety management training is basically any defined role in your company. Each role will have specific safety duties and responsibilities, and that role should be trained on those duties and responsibilities.
The implications here are that:
- Each role manages certain aspects of safety;
- Safety management is NOT just for safety managers; and
- Safety management is the responsibility of all employees.
The likely scenario is that your target audience will be split based on the type of training:
- Role specific training; and
- Training applicable to all employees.
For example, all employees should have hazard identification training. Perhaps only employees with the safety manager role will require training for risk assessment training.
Your organization needs to decide on all of the types of training it will use, and then schedule those training based on role or company wide application.
Key Types of Safety Training to Have in Aviation SMS
Regardless of how you configure roles, there are some types of aviation safety training that all organizations should have:
- Hazard identification training;
- Initial (induction) and recurrent SMS training;
- Training on duties and responsibilities;
- Training that builds safety culture (e.g., human factor training, newsletters, etc.); and
- Safety awareness training.
At the very least, your organization should include training for all employees that fulfill the above goals. This ensures that all employees understand:
- The purpose of the SMS and their role in it;
- The importance of teamwork and situational awareness; and
- What dangers are and how to report them.
This will provide a baseline suite of training that your SMS needs to function.
How Often Should Safety Management Training Happen
Ideally, safety training will happen once per year. In some cases, it may make sense to provide more some training regimens more than once per year, such as the case of situational awareness training where you might train twice per year on top threats for the upcoming months.
That being said, there are dangers of trying to train too much, and dangers of training too little.
- Too much training can bread apathy and “water down” the importance of training; and
- Too little training can lead to employees unaware of safety issues or improperly trained.
Each organization will have different limitations on training frequency, but it’s incredibly important to get feedback about training so you can customize how, when, and the frequency with which you conduct safety management training.
Best Tone for Safety Management Training
Regardless of the type of safety management training you are giving, such as automated safety management training, the tone for the safety management training should always stress:
- Personal responsibility;
- Respect for safety vs. performance;
- Cooperation: rely on the SMS, rely on fellow employees;
- The power of communication; and
- The power of awareness.
All training regimens should reinforce these ideas by assuming that they are resources to use in any given situation. In other words, cooperation, responsibility, communication, and awareness are resources that are useful in all safety situations.
Aspects of Safety to Stress During Safety Management Training
Certain important aspects are key to stress during safety training, and they may not be facets of safety you would normally consider:
- Respect limitations, not ability: better to be safe than sorry, no matter how good you are at doing something;
- Trust but verify: no matter how many times you have done it or are 100% sure, just always make a habit of double checking;
- Always report it: better to report a non-issue than not report at all; and
- You’re it: individual employees are ultimately responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them, especially front line employees.
These are easy points to go back to during training. By the end of SMS training, employees should be tired of hearing about them – so tired that they will never forget these points!
How do you manage and document SMS training. Here is an option.
Having SMS training documentation integrated into your SMS database is a win-win. Reduce management time and receive notifications when training expires or when employees don't have required training. Ask us to show you how this works:
Published March 2019. Last updated May 2020.