SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Aviation SMS Surveys - Most Neglected Safety Promotion Tool

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 13, 2021 6:00:00 AM

The Creative: Interesting Surveys and Promotion

Aviation SMS Surveys - Most Neglected Safety Promotion Tool

Unfortunately, safety culture surveys are often not high on the priority list of aviation safety management system (SMS) implementations. And judging by surveys that I have seen, they are often written with the candor and creativity of a Driver’s Education Manual.

Which is too bad...

Because fun, creative, regular, and *short* safety surveys can be a truly fantastic addition to a safety manager’s bag of tricks.

Make no mistake, if done well, safety cultures benefit from safety surveys significantly by:

  • Consistent feedback
  • Establish a sense of moral responsibility
  • Assess how involved employees feel
  • Assess healthiness of relationships
  • Provide employees with an open and honest forum
  • Educating employees on new or subtle topics
  • Subtle but powerful safety promotional tool

Related Aviation Safety Culture Articles

Make Safety Surveys Fun

The best aviation safety solutions include surveys to educate and promote safety cultures

Surveys aside, if there is one thing that all aviation SMS implementations need, it is more humor. At the heart of every unhealthy safety culture-

  • Bureaucratic practices or cronyism
  • Resistance to change
  • The negative view of aviation SMS
  • Apathy toward more regulatory oversight

-is a culture that is serious with a seriously rigid feeling. Humor can all but totally eradicate such an environment. Humor doesn’t have to be “funny” necessarily, just simply light-hearted and friendly.

And when I talk about humor, I am talking about it in the areas of:

  • Safety training
  • Safety promotion
  • Interactions

To this effect, try employing safety promotion activities like:

  • a humorous daily safety reminder,
  • a joke at safety meetings,
  • after-hours socializing or parties,
  • training made to be *interactive* rather than “informative” (which in this case is another word for boring).

These activities can do wonders for breaking down barriers of seriousness and bureaucracy.

So why not use humor in your aviation safety surveys?

Download Monthly Safety Promotion Checklist

Safety Surveys Have Many Purposes

Safety manager

If you are using safety surveys to merely check the temperature of your safety culture, you are missing out on some great opportunities. Aviation safety surveys can be useful for:

  • Training and education;
  • Shaping culture through questions that cause users to think;
  • Raising safety awareness;
  • Examining trends; and
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of safety initiatives.

Related Aviation SMS Survey Articles

Final Thoughts on Safety Surveys at Aviation Service Providers

Safety promotion activities are required for every aviation SMS program. From my experience, surveys are seriously under-used. Surveys are easy to implement and can be re-used repeatedly to demonstrate continuous improvement in your safety culture.

When was the last time your aviation SMS program conducted a safety survey?

The hardest part about aviation safety surveys is creating the survey. These four aviation SMS surveys will help.

Free Aviation Safety Survey Templates to Download

Last updated in March 2024.

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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