SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

How to Use Safety Surveys to Improve Safety Culture in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Oct 9, 2019 2:12:00 PM

Safety Survey Benefits Run Deep

Surveys seem a bit old-fashioned. That’s probably because they are.

Surveys have been around and popular for years. There are many uses for safety surveys besides getting the opinions of the workforce. Surveys are also useful for:

  • Promoting the aviation safety management system (SMS);
  • Teaching employees about processes or procedures;
  • Confirming management's suspicions about employee behaviors.

Surveys are the ultimate information gathering tool to determine how employees view the organization's aviation SMS.

  • Do employees care about the SMS?
  • How many employees completed the safety survey?
  • What does your survey tell management about what to expect for safety performance?

These are questions an astute safety manager may already know, but cold, hard, truthful numbers are what the safety manager can take to top management to effect change. Imagine two scenarios:

In Scenario "A," a safety manager appears more credible saying, "Only 55% of employees bothered to respond to our safety culture survey, which leads me to believe our aviation SMS will become more effective once employees take ownership of the SMS and realize the benefits."

In Scenario "B," the safety manager may tell the accountable executive, "Employees really don't seem to care about our SMS. I get a feeling that we are losing money and operating with unnecessary risk because employees are not reporting safety issues. Something is holding us back for achieving our safety objectives, but I think it stems from employee attitudes."

As you can imagine, upper management would be more receptive to Scenario A, as the safety manager's assertions are based on an actual analysis, instead of a gut feeling. As you can readily see, safety surveys can easily increase a safety manager's credibility when using statistics versus a "gut feeling."

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How to Engage Difficult Employees in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Sep 23, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Reporting Safety Hazards Is Not Enough?

For most aviation service providers, the simple act of getting employees to report potential safety hazards is a constant challenge.

Expectations of the majority of employees are:

  • Showing up to work (on-time in some cultures);
  • Collecting the paycheck (on-time is preferable); and
  • Expecting employers to provide a safe workplace.

However, every employee has a responsibility to ensure operations remain safe for all stakeholders.

Is hazard identification and hazard reporting enough to ask from employees as they participate in your organization's safety initiatives?

What else should employees be doing for your required aviation safety management system (SMS)?

Without the support of all employees, the aviation SMS will never reach its full potential. Money will be left on the table - meaning that every successful SMS is dependent on safety culture and employee participation. 

The raw ingredients in an aviation SMS come predominantly from safety reporting and audit activities. Employees are instrumental for providing these inputs by participating in effective safety reporting activities. Without employee participation, the organization can still have an SMS; however, the organization will never benefit fully from reduced risk and missed opportunities.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How to Sell Aviation SMS to All Employees - Improving Safety Cultures

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Aug 21, 2019 5:17:00 AM

Three Ways to Encourage Participation in Your Aviation SMS

Many aviation service providers struggle with overcoming the difficulty of increasing participation and buy-in for their aviation safety management system (SMS). However, increasing participation in the SMS doesn’t have to be difficult. After all, it is not rocket science.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

4 Ways to Know You Are Qualified to Be an Aviation Safety Officer

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jul 15, 2019 6:17:00 AM

Certification vs. Qualification

Last year my wife went to the dentist to have a filling put into one of her teeth. She had severe pain for several days, went back to the dentist and found out that he had put the filling in backward. He replaced it with a new filling but the next day it fell out of her tooth.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Why Money Is More Important Than Safety in Aviation Safety Cultures

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jul 5, 2019 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 Aviation Safety Articles Satisfies Recurring SMS Training Requirements

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 2, 2019 6:07:00 AM

Aviation SMS Training Does Not Have to Break the Bank

In Phase 2 and Phase 4 of an ICAO compliant aviation safety management system (SMS), aviation service providers must

  • Deliver training relevant to reactive risk management processes; and
  • Develop training relevant to operational safety assurance.
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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How Do Office Staff Participate in Aviation SMS?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jun 28, 2019 6:03:00 AM

Common Question before Aviation SMS Implementations

I interact with safety managers and accountable executives as we provide consulting and database services for aviation service providers implementing formal aviation safety management systems (SMS).

Occasionally, I hear these groups saying, "We only want the pilots to participate in the SMS."

Worse yet, I'll see an airline with 4,000 employees telling me that only "20-40 people in the company are active in the aviation SMS," meaning that they have a small safety team that is peddling "safety" and the other employees are not active or are completely unaware of the SMS implementation.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

What Is Aviation Safety Training in Aviation SMS - Includes Videos to Use

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 20, 2019 6:19:00 AM

What Defines Aviation Safety Training

Aviation safety training and education is an essential building block to develop performant safety cultures. This should be among the first elements to scrutinize whenever employees are involved in safety accidents or incidents.

Safety training and education falls under the Safety Promotion component in the 4 Pillars of Aviation SMS. Safety training can make or break the successful performance of an SMS program for:

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion, Risk Management Training

What Should Your Aviation Safety Culture Look Like [Free Checklists]

Posted by Aviation Safety Student on Jun 19, 2019 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.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

How to Get Employees Participating in Safety Reporting - Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 2, 2019 6:04:00 AM

A Reporting Culture Is a Just Culture

Workers’ participation in aviation safety management systems (SMS) comes down to one word: reporting.

When workers are reporting, it demonstrates three things:

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

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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