Benefits of Safety Surveys
Safety surveys give you insight into the relationship between your employees and your aviation safety program, which includes:
- The SMS;
- Safety management; and
- Aspects of safety culture.
Importantly, safety surveys provide quantifiable data. This allows you to:
- Track progress over time;
- Rank what is and isn’t doing well in your SMS;
- Offer employees an avenue to participate in the SMS by giving feedback;
- Compare how employees view your SMS in different time periods; and
- Gather valuable insight and guidance for where to focus your efforts.
However, to attain these benefits, you need to format your surveys correctly.
Best Practices for Safety Surveys
For the most part, safety surveys are fairly straightforward. Here are recommended practices for safety surveys:
- Give safety surveys regularly, such as 1-2 times per year.
- Use the same questions each time, though you may format them differently so that they “appear” to be different;
- Have each question be on a number-scale, such as 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree);
- If you want to use good questions for safety surveys, gather questions from other surveys, such as in this article or from other operators; and
- Gather surveys and store the results in a database or spreadsheet.
Here are 30 good questions for safety surveys in aviation SMS.
Survey Questions for Hazard Reporting Culture
- I believe that my company has an effective hazard reporting process
- I feel comfortable reporting issues with hazard reporting process
- I think our hazard reporting process is very easy to use
- I think that reporting issues has obvious value for my safety
- I never feel pressure to NOT report some types of issues
- I always report any dangerous work practices I see
Survey Questions for How Employees Feel about Management
- I think that management is effective at managing safety issues
- I feel very comfortable approaching safety management directly with safety concerns
- I feel that my safety directly benefits from safety management’s decisions
- I think management tries hard to improve safety
- I think Safety manager often discuss safety issues with myself and/or other employees
- I think management gives good feedback regarding the company’s safety performance
Survey Questions for Safety Culture
- I feel that my coworkers encourage each other to work safely
- I think management places more emphasis on performing tasks safely rather than quickly
- Management praises employees if they see them working safely
- I think employees follow polices/procedures/rules most of the time
- I think managers are aware of the main safety problems I deal with in the workplace
- After reporting issues, I think management tries to find the reason for the issue rather than blaming people
Survey Questions for Safety Guidance from SMS
- I feel that I am given enough training to easily complete my tasks
- I have checklists that I use to complete routine tasks
- I have procedures that I can consult if I don’t know how to complete one of my duties
- I think that I am kept informed when changes are made which may affect safety
- In the case of an emergency, there is an emergency response document I can follow for what to do and who to contact
- I feel management does a good job following up with me regarding issues I have reported
Survey Questions for How Employees Feel about the SMS
- I feel that our safety program makes a big difference in my safety
- I think our safety program is performing very well
- I know how to easily access safety policies, procedures, checklists, and other resources related to safety
- I feel that I was adequately trained on the purpose and goals of our SMS
- I know how to easily access our company goals
- Safety audits/inspections are carried out regularly
Published May 2018. Last updated January 2020.
De-icing of an aircraft at Berlin Schönefeld Airport image by Wikimedia Commons