What Is Risk in Aviation SMS Implementations
Risk in aviation safety management systems (SMS) is a tricky subject. Not only is it treated differently in different organizations, but safety professionals tend to get up in arms in front of differing opinions.
The truth is that “risk” is a terribly nebulous word and concept, with multiple ways to use it. What’s important is NOT that you “know what risk is” so much as you “define what risk means to your organization.”
Here are multiple ways that “risk” is used in the risk management industry, in descending order of common use:
- The likelihood and severity of safety mishap occurring;
- Negative safety outcomes, such as damages to equipment or aircraft, injuries, deaths, etc.; and
- Loss of safety control (i.e., “dangerous condition” or “risk event”).