SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Tyler Britton

350,000 words and counting on safety risk management concepts, guidance, tools, and best practices.

Recent Posts

Real Difference between an Aviation Safety Audit vs. Inspection

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 21, 2024 6:00:00 AM

Interesting Discussion on Audits vs. Inspections

The other 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

Examples of Good Hazard Reporting Forms in Aviation Safety

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 14, 2024 5:45:00 AM

How to Use Hazard Reporting Forms in SMS

You can’t really overestimate the value and usefulness of having high-quality hazard reporting forms.

Hazard reporting underpins your ability to acquire data, which is the basis of most of the continuous improvement changes you make to your aviation SMS.

Good hazard reporting forms provide:

  • Guidance for employees when reporting issues;
  • The framework for the types of data you want to gather;
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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

How to Use Fishbone Diagrams in Aviation SMS - Walkthrough

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 31, 2024 5:45:00 AM

What Is a Fishbone Diagram?

Fishbone diagrams are perhaps the best risk management tool in aviation safety management systems (SMS) for gaining a comprehensive understanding of root causes of safety incidents.

A fishbone diagram derives its name from its fishlike appearance, with a head of several fins.

Each “fin” or “branch” of a fishbone diagram describes a different category of the situation, such as the categories “Human” or “Machine.” The head of the fishbone describes the risk.

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

Relationship Between a Hazard and Risk Occurrence in Safety Management

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 24, 2024 6:00:00 AM

Why Definitions of Hazard and Risk Matter

One of the most ubiquitous problems in aviation risk management is the misuse of commonly used words, in particular “hazard” and “risk.” Often, these two items are either:

  • Used interchangeably; or
  • Used much too broadly.

Accuracy is extremely important, as much of the bureaucracy in an aviation safety management system (SMS) builds upon basic definitions of safety elements.

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

How to Monitor the Effectiveness of Control Measures

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 17, 2024 10:59:00 AM

Why You Need to Monitor the Effectiveness of Control Measures

Control measures are the heart of your aviation safety management system’s (SMS) risk mitigation efforts. You may call your "control measures" either:

  • Risk controls; or
  • Simply "controls."

In this article, we'll use the term "control measures," but I am sure many of you call them "risk controls." Either term is permissible; however, I'm detecting a global preference in the aviation industry for the term "risk control."

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

5 Ways to Stop Repeat Safety Incidents

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 10, 2024 6:02:00 AM

Why Repeat Safety Incidents Are a Big Concern

Repeat safety incidents are extremely indicative of management’s safety performance in mitigating safety concerns.

Having repeat safety incidents is clear evidence that management is “missing” or “overlooking” something when they are correcting reported safety concerns. This is bad for safety performance, and it’s bad for audit performance.

On the other hand, the lack of repeat incidents indicates that whatever you are doing to mitigate safety concerns, it’s working. The most important factors in mitigating safety concerns are:

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Topics: Quality-Safety Management

Is Root Cause Analysis Proactive or Reactive?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 27, 2023 10:29:00 AM

What Is Root Cause Analysis in Aviation SMS

If you put 10 safety managers in a room and asked them what root cause analysis was, they would have ten different answers.

Safety professionals all say that they perform root cause analysis at some time during their risk management process. In their minds, that’s probably true.

But root cause analysis for one safety manager would not necessarily be the root cause analysis for another manager.

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

How to Perform Risk Analysis in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 20, 2023 5:15:00 AM

What Are You Looking for When Performing Risk Analysis

During the risk management process in an aviation safety management system (SMS), one of the expected tasks is to analyze the risk of hazards associated with

  • reported safety issues;
  • audit findings; and
  • proposed operational changes.

When you perform risk analysis on whatever type of a safety issue in aviation SMS, your goal is to understand how and why the underlying issue affects risk exposure in your organization.

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Topics: Risk Management Training

How Safety Management and Quality Assurance Work in Management Systems

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 13, 2023 5:28:00 AM

What Is a Management System

This article is originally inspired by a rather insightful video discussing the interplay between safety management and quality assurance.

A management system is a set of processes used to manage “findings” during operations.

“Findings” are simply things you discover in your operations that are less than ideal. We can also call findings “issues.” There can be many types of issues, such as:

  • Safety;
  • Security;
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Topics: Quality-Safety Management

What Is a Hazard in Safety Management Systems

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 29, 2023 5:45:00 AM

Why Definition of a Hazard Matters

Accuracy is extremely important.

Much of the bureaucracy of safety management systems depend on correct and specific understanding of safety concepts. Misunderstanding definitions in SMS is synonymous with misunderstanding what a safety element is and can compromise how that safety element is:

  • Controlled;
  • Documented; and
  • Accounted for.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

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