SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Aviation SMS Data Protection: What Should Employees See?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 27, 2019 6:05:00 AM

What Is Safety Transparency in Safety Management Systems

Safety transparency is a big deal in aviation safety management systems (SMS). On one hand, employees need protections from managerial reprisals and negative peer pressure when self reporting errors and mistakes. On the other hand, employees are genuinely interested in learning what dangers lurk in the workplace and how to avoid these dangers.

How much safety information should be shared?

Does a safety culture truly benefit when all employees can access all safety data, such as:

  • Reported safety issues; and
  • Identified audit findings?

As an aviation SMS database provider, one of the most frequent questions we receive is "how should we set up roles, permissions, and access to safety data in our aviation SMS database?" In every case, safety managers are weighing the pros and cons of having a transparent safety culture while also protecting the company against future fall-out.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

What Is Safety Culture in Aviation Risk Management

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 26, 2019 6:01:00 AM

Definition of Safety Culture in Aviation Risk Management

Safety culture in aviation safety management systems (SMS) is usually defined as being the safety attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and values of employees in an organization. Unfortunately, such a high-level, conceptual definition of safety culture does not help safety manager address core personnel challenges in your organization's SMS.

In much of the SMS guidance material pushed out by regulatory agencies and standards setting bodies, such as ICAO's document 9859 Safety Management Manual, we see condensed definitions of "what is safety culture" with a very, easy-to-understand phrase: "employees actions regarding safety when nobody is watching." I find this definition enlightening, but still too generic. How do safety managers measure safety culture or affect the safety culture in their organization? We need more information in this definition in order to be useful to SMS practitioners.

Another way to approach the question, what is safety culture, is to break it into multiple definitions based on how it works in safety management systems.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion, Safety Culture

4 Pillars | 10 Things You Need to Know about Aviation Safety Training

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 13, 2019 6:01:00 AM

What Is Safety Training and Education?

Aviation safety training and education is an essential building block for safety culture. Safety culture is understandably important for aviation service providers that are investing in aviation safety management systems (SMS). Without a healthy safety culture, the SMS will never deliver the expected results and moneys will be wasted.

Accountable executives and safety teams must consider whether poor performance of their aviation SMS is a result of lack of training, or a deeper, more sinister safety culture issue.

Safety training can make or break the successful performance of aviation SMS for:

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Why Safety Promotion Component is the Overlooked Pillar in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 4, 2019 5:03:00 AM

What is Safety Promotion Component of 4 Pillars?

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) have been required by most aviation service providers since the November 2006 ICAO mandate. To add structure to SMS implementations and to educate safety professionals, ICAO provides SMS implementation guidance in the form of a Safety Management Manual (SMM), now in the fourth edition.

In the SMM, aviation SMS implementation requirements are logically grouped under four components (also known as four pillars):

  • Safety Policy;
  • Safety Risk Management (SRM);
  • Safety Assurance (SA); and
  • Safety Policy.

The four components, or pillars, are further broken down into twelve elements, with between two and five elements for each pillar. Safety Promotion pillar has two elements:

  • Training and education; and
  • Safety communication.
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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

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

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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