SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

FAA Part 5 - Safety Assurance - You May Not Be Prepared

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 16, 2019 5:58:00 AM

Regulatory Phrases May Pack an Incredible Punch

When I was in school, both high school and college, English composition professors would frequently remark on my ability to use very few words to say a lot.

I always took this to be a compliment, but there is a severe limitation to my writing style. From my point of view, why use ten words when one will suffice. Communication (according to my taciturn personality), should be:

  • Short;
  • Concise; and
  • Quickly moved to the next topic.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Reduce Resistance to Aviation SMS With Difficult Employees

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 15, 2019 10:00:00 AM

It Only Takes One

You know the old expression: it only takes one to poison the well.

We end up writing a lot about resistance to change in aviation safety management systems (SMS) because it’s something many aviation safety managers consistently deal with.

Resistance to the SMS should never be taken lightly; however, dealing with resistance requires tact and ingenuity in order to avoid exacerbating the resistance.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Define Your Risk Matrix in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 14, 2019 5:41:00 AM

What Is Risk Assessment in SMS

Risk Assessments in aviation safety management systems (SMS) are how you qualify, quantify, and rank risk exposure for:

  • Reported safety issues;
  • Audit findings and concerns; and
  • Risk scenarios (consequences) associated with identified hazards.

Risk assessments are absolutely central to decision making in SMS, as all actions performed on the safety issue depend on the initial and subsequent risk assessments. Risk assessments are based on your risk matrix. How well you define your risk matrix sets the stage for critical safety events in your risk management processes.

How do you define your risk matrix? What problems will an ill-suited risk matrix cause you?

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Steps to Learn Who’s Reporting Issues in Your Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 9, 2019 5:02:00 AM

Why Knowing Who Is Reporting Hazards Is Important

Monitoring which groups of employees are reporting issues in your aviation safety management system (SMS) allows management to stay abreast of who is involved in the SMS.

Alternatively, knowing which employees are neglecting to report hazards is also useful information to SMS professionals. This would indicate that safety promotion efforts or SMS training efforts need to be reinforced.

In short, we are most interested in which particular user groups are not fulfilling their responsibilities to the SMS. These employees introduce unnecessary risk to aviation operations.

How do you know which employee groups are not participating in the SMS? Can you determine this easily? We have some ideas to stimulate your SMS.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

5 Indicators of Reactive or Proactive Safety Culture in Your Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Not So Obvious

The line between reactive and proactive safety workplaces is unfortunately not as concrete as anyone would like. If it were so obvious, many organizations would be far less reactive. The fact is that most cultures are less proactive than they would like to be.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Use Trending Charts in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 7, 2019 6:02:00 AM

Using Trending Charts in Aviation SMS

There are several times each year when managers are interested in trending charts coming from their aviation safety management systems (SMS). These times include during:

Trending is perhaps among the most difficult tasks for safety managers when they don't have automated tools and databases to capture hazard reports and to classify these reported issues.

Let's assume you have data. Which questions should you be asking to generate your trending charts?

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Real Difference between an Aviation Safety Audit vs. Inspection

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 5, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Interesting Discussion on Audits vs. Inspections

The another day I had a rather interesting discussion with a couple of seasoned aviation safety managers on the topic of aviation safety audits vs inspections.

It took a while to come to a consensus about the primary differences, as well as the ideological implications of each. The discussion got me thinking and I did some further research.

More than simply understanding the practical difference between the two, it's important to understand the ideological differences between safety audits and safety inspections as well.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Risk Mitigation Best Practices in Aviation Safety Management

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 3, 2019 12:29:34 PM

What Are Best Practices for Risk Mitigation in Aviation Safety Management

The term risk mitigation, broadly speaking, means to try and prevent danger. You might think of it as “reducing exposure.” In general, there are four best practices employed in aviation SMS to mitigate risk, and they include:

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, 2-Safety Risk Management

What is Risk Tolerance

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 2, 2019 4:44:00 AM

Definition of Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance is simply how much risk you are willing to accept. High risk tolerance is generally not a good idea because it means that you are willing to “tolerate” or “accept” a high degree of risk for performing tasks. Low risk tolerance is generally good because it means you err on the side of safety; if it’s risky, don’t do it.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

5 Useful Safety Performance Monitoring Tools in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Dec 27, 2018 1:03:00 PM

What is Safety Performance Monitoring in Aviation SMS

Safety performance monitoring in aviation SMS is the primary way you will assess your safety program. This assessment happens in two different ways:

  • Passively, such as in the case of high, system level performance monitoring, such as trend identification; and
  • Actively, such as in the case of daily performance monitoring of safety issues, including their associated hazards, risks and control measures identified during issue management.

So, when we talk about “safety performance monitoring,” we need to always specify whether we are talking about passive or active performance monitoring if the context is not clear.

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management, 3-Safety Assurance

Site content provided by Northwest Data Solutions is meant for informational purposes only. Opinions presented here are not provided by any civil aviation authority or standards body.



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