SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

3 Important Aspects of Safety Performance Indicators in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 15, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Understanding What Safety Performance in Aviation SMS Is

Safety performance in aviation safety management systems (SMS) can be difficult to fully comprehend because it involves so many different moving parts. In general we understand safety performance as involving the:

  • Ability to comply with regulations of oversight agencies;
  • Ability to monitor operational safety performance;
  • Risk management processes to mitigate risk and monitor risk controls;
  • Data management capabilities to set and monitor safety goals and objectives; and
  • Ability to meet organization-specific KPIs related to safety goals.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

3 Most Common (Unknown) Mistakes in Aviation SMS Implementations

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 7, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Seeking Out Mistakes in Aviation SMS Implementations

Being honest about mistakes is hard.

It’s even harder to try and seek out mistakes you are making that you do not know you are making.

In aviation safety management systems (SMS), safety managers are tasked with actively exploring, understanding, and seeking out failures in the program in order to improve them. Even unknown failures are holes in the safety structure of the SMS.

In many significant ways, the success of aviation SMS implementations depends on how honestly and thoroughly such failures are addressed.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Prepare for Operational Safety Assurance in Aviation SMS?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 28, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Audit-Worthy Aviation SMS Implementations Take Considerable Time

Aviation service providers never implement their required aviation safety management system (SMS) quickly. In most cases, it will take three to five years for a medium to large aviation service provider to completely implement their SMS.

You may scrape by in the early stages by pencil-whipping SMS requirements into shape, but an SMS is more than policies and pretty, well-formatted aviation SMS manuals.

There will be considerable SMS documentation to generate and regular safety promotion activities to coordinate, such as:

  • safety newsletters,
  • safety surveys; and
  • safety meetings.

With all of this work, how will you ever make it to the safety assurance phase of your SMS?

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Use Safety Charts to Focus Hazard Risk Management Efforts - Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 26, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Importance of Hazard Categories in Aviation SMS

Aviation safety charts gather and present aviation safety management system (SMS) information to stakeholders. Stakeholders use this visually-rich information to make informed, fact-based decisions about the SMS and organizational performance.

A popular idiom is "A picture can speak a thousand words." This saying implies that a picture, or chart in our case, can convey complex information more quickly and effectively than attempting to describe the chart's meaning in words.

If a chart can speak a thousand words, what will five or ten related charts on a page be able to convey? The hazard categories chart we discuss in this articles belongs to an SMS performance monitoring dashboard, and it speaks volumes when coupled with complementary charts! Management can quickly see which hazards affect operations and hopefully determine:

  • Where hazards affect operations?
  • How are hazards affecting operations in terms of operational areas and severity?
  • Why hazards affect operations?
  • When are particular hazards most common?
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Investigate Safety Issues

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 18, 2019 4:59:00 AM

Different Investigator Activities on Safety Issues

Managing safety issues in aviation SMS is largely about performing various investigatory activities in order to make good safety decisions. Investigatory activities are usually conducted by:

  • Safety managers;
  • Department heads;
  • Subject matter experts; and/or
  • Safety committees.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, Quality-Safety Management

Aviation Safety Cultures Improved with Integrated Safety and Quality Management Systems

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 15, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Objectives of Aviation Quality and Safety Management Systems

The objective of an aviation quality management system (QMS) is to continually improve the level of customer satisfaction by meeting their needs.

The objective of a safety management system (SMS) is to also continually improve, but instead of focusing on customer satisfaction, an SMS program focuses on stakeholders' safety, both real and perceived.

How can aviation safety professionals measure safety and customer satisfaction? Is that really a concern for the safety team? I doubt it.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Audit Previously Managed Safety Issues in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 11, 2019 4:43:00 AM

What Is an Audit of Previously Managed Issues in Aviation Safety Management

When you perform internal aviation SMS audits, it’s essential you include the auditing of previously managed issues.

Why should you audit previously managed issues? Because external auditors will randomly sample your managed issues and look very closely at the decisions you made and why you made them. If you don’t randomly sample and audit your issues, you can probably expect an audit finding on your next external audit.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, SMS Auditing

4 Things Safety Managers Do to Perform Well on Aviation SMS Audits

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 4, 2019 8:31:48 PM

Aviation Safety Audits: Here to Stay

Another aviation safety audit for your safety management system (SMS)...

The safety auditors are coming with established guidelines from:

At this point, many aviation safety managers' collars start to feel a little tight around the neck. The first thing is: relax.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

How to Measure Safety Performance in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 1, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Why Do We Measure Aviation Safety Performance?

Aviation safety managers are tasked with a Safety Assurance (SA) element labeled "Continuous Improvement." Not many aviation safety management systems (SMS) training courses go into much detail about "Continuous Improvement" which leaves many safety managers confusedly scratching their heads.

Safety Assurance is the third ICAO component or pillar of an ICAO compliant SMS framework. Annex 19 - Safety Management and the four components are described in detail in ICAO's Document 9859.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

What Is Process for Risk Analysis in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 23, 2019 5:01:00 AM

When Should Perform Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is an activity that safety managers will perform on a regular basis for discovered (or potential) issues. You might identify these issues because of a hazard report or during an audit. Regardless of how you identify an issue, you will need to analyze it to understand:

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

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