SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Money Shapes Safety Culture at Flight School SMS Programs

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jan 20, 2017 6:02:00 AM

How Money can Affect the way We Think about Safety

I find myself being an unsafe pilot all of the time, and so do many other pilots. Not in the sense of breaking safety regulations, such as flight and duty times, but by pushing personal limits.

Sometimes we pilots slander the IMSAFE checklist and push it to the side when preparing for a flight knowing:

  • we did not sleep well the night before,
  • have not eaten very nutritiously lately, and
  • have been in class far too long to be in a plane for multiple hours.

But that isn’t going to stop the majority of pilots from wanting those much needed flight hours.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Why Zero Accidents Hurts Motivation for Aviation SMS Programs

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 16, 2017 6:09:00 AM

Aviation Manager Likes Zero Accidents

A safety manager from Southeast Asia contacted me out of the blue asking questions relating to key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to create them.

Instead of recreating the wheel and spending an hour outlining best practices for KPIs in aviation SMS programs, I sent him one of the best online resources for aviation KPIs. "You can find everything you need on that page," I told him. "If you need anything else, just let me know."

As is customary in our company culture, I signed the email, as "Always glad to help," which if you know us, you know we are sincere.

A few hours later, this same safety manager asked my opinion regarding:

"In some organisations that I used to work, one of the Safety KPIs that Senior Management team has to be responsible is Zero Accident[sic] at the workplace. This emphasizes the importance of safety."

Warning bells rang out. A tactful response was necessary, yet how should I answer?

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

What Should Be Future Focus of Safety Management Systems

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jan 13, 2017 6:04:00 AM

Human Factors Central Theme in Aviation Safety

As the aviation industry continues to grow, a concentrated effort on safety needs to expand into all realms of aviation, especially regarding hazard identification, as well as risk assessment and mitigation, related to human error.

In aviation there will always be uncontrolled variables. This remains true because we operate in an open system, exposed to many variables outside the direct control of the operator.

A leading factor in the vast majority of aviation accidents is human error. This begs the question, how much effort should be put towards identifying the tendencies for improper human performance and addressing these beforehand?

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Why Are Flight Instructors Backbone for Safety Management Systems?

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jan 6, 2017 6:10:00 AM

How Flight Instructors Shape Safety Management Systems

As an aspiring instructor pilot, safety management systems (SMS) will inevitably be part of each day. 

It is a unique opportunity instructors have in guiding pilots through their pursuits in all aspects of aviation.  All too often, instructors are only considered responsible for teaching the physical aspects of flying; i.e. the practical knowledge and skills to pass written tests and check rides.  Still, more importantly, instructors are responsible for teaching the culture of aviation and the systems set in place.  

An instructor pilot has ground rules to establish and uphold standards of performance in all areas, in order to promote safety and efficiency. 

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Why Money Is More Important Than Safety in Aviation

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jan 2, 2017 6:03:00 AM

The Money Hungry Industry of Aviation

From what I have gathered over the years, every company seems to operate in the same way, money before safety.

Companies will think to themselves “How can I make money while still being safe?”

The problem with this mindset is that the word money comes first. If it were switched to say “How can I be the most safe while still making money?” there wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Today’s safety culture in aviation depends on whether money is going to be made, which is quite sad.

As I realize there are many safety implications set in place by the government, many companies like to run on the bare minimum safety standards to make the most money.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How to Motivate Employees in Safety Management Systems

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Dec 30, 2016 6:03:00 AM

Safety Management Systems Shape Healthy Cultures

Intrinsic motivation is a highly effective means of motivating people.  Often, this can be tied to identity and purpose as is related to a larger group.  

Safety management systems (SMS) can work to create a culture of individual responsibility within the organization and therefore inadvertently promote participation.  

As individuals see the greater vision of an SMS program, connect with others around that vision, and find means to support this vision, the organization will grow and develop.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

4 Ways to Gain Financial Support for Your Aviation SMS Program

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 28, 2016 6:01:00 AM

The Struggle to Gain Support for Your Aviation SMS Program

Chances are you’ve either been here before or are currently dealing with the following situation.

You need financial support to continue to implement your aviation SMS program.

Getting financial support means getting upper management’s support. Upper management either:

  • Doesn’t care about the safety program;
  • Doesn’t see the need to spend more resources on it; or
  • Is resistant to SMS program for personal reasons.
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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

What is Purpose of Aviation Safety Articles in SMS Programs

Posted by Christopher Howell on Dec 22, 2016 6:01:00 AM

Aviation SMS Programs Require Regular Safety Communications

Routine work may dull your alertness.

Careless or inattentive attitudes may soon replace the caution that existed when your job was new and interesting.

Without some periodic reawakening to the ever-present hazards in the aviation environment, lethargy deepens and chances of accidents occurring increases without us even being aware of the risk.

You may not always recognize the importance of recurring safety training. Yet this training benefits us all in many ways.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How Does Your Opinion of Aviation Safety Culture Differ From Others

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Dec 9, 2016 6:01:00 AM

Safety Culture More Than Policies and Procedures

In some places within the aviation industry, people believe that “safety culture” looks like a lot of rules and regulations. It looks like “the man” or a bunch of nerdy pencil pushers.

I don’t believe that’s what our safety culture does or should look like. I believe safety cultures in the aviation industry can look like so much more.

  • It should look more like a community.
  • It should look like a team.
  • It should look like a family.

A safety culture should be a group of people who together adhere to strict safety standards and practices because of a deep sense of caring for one another and teamwork.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How to Build Your Aviation Safety Article Training Library

Posted by Christopher Howell on Dec 8, 2016 6:01:00 AM

Recurrent SMS Training Can Be Expensive

For small companies with 20 to 100 employees, it is not feasible to send all employees to aviation SMS training courses. Nor is it feasible to regularly hire an SMS consultant to deliver training to all employees. Not only do you have costs relating to consultants' time and expenses, but also lost revenue due to employees not performing billable services.

In these scenarios, a company can have an SMS training policy that requires employees to read aviation-related safety articles on a routine basis, such as monthly. Another alternative is for employees to read a predetermined number of aviation safety articles each year. Of course, the policy must be documented and for each employee, the number of articles counted and documented.

To take this example further, management could pre-select or recommend articles based on each employee's participation level in the aviation SMS program.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion


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