Saturday, September 24, 2016

Safety Policy Expectation

Safety Policy Expectation

There is an expectation that the organization has a safety policy that is agreed to and approved by the accountable executive. An accountable executive is the person who is responsible for operations or activities authorized under the certificate and accountable for meeting the requirements of the regulations. Without accountability for meeting the regulatory requirements an airport, or airline is applying a reactive safety management system where it becomes a simple task to point fingers at the last link in the chain of an accident. It takes initiative, effort and planning for accountability to be effective with proactive operations and includes all links in the chain of event.

A safety policy expectation is to ensure safety for all.
The very specific reason for the accountable executive to approve and agree to the safety policy is to establish a safety management system where senior management accept accountability, which then trickles down to all personnel. Personnel do not have safety authority and authority to question safety unless this authority is given by senior management. Everybody talks safety, but very few actually know how to implement it.  Safety is the analyses and “plan-do-check-act” of regular day-to-day processes.

Definition of accountability is often incorrectly applied as the definition of responsibility. Although accountability and responsibility cannot be applied independently, or one without the other, they cannot be interchanged with each other. Responsibility is a description of authority, while accountability is operations of that task, or the action of carry out that task of authority. Accountability the behavioral action as expected by responsibility.

The difference between responsibly and accountability could be described as the responsibly and accountability of driving down a two-lane highway. Opposing traffic, going 60MPH towards each other are only separate by an imaginary wall of a yellow line. This is not a logical separation of two vehicles approaching within just a few feet of each other at 120MPH. If applying logic to this, it could be categorized as an insane solution and not practical. However, when applying the variable of accountability into the equation it works.  The responsibly to stay on the correct side of the yellow line remains with each driver, whether they are driving or not.

Accountability is the expectation of responsibility.
When the expectation of a safety management system is that the accountable executive has agreed to, and approved the safety policy, the airport, or airline, set the bar of where in the organization accountably is expected. With the accountable executive accepting responsibly for accountably it has been established that the bar is set at the senior management level. Accountability is a tool to identify hazards and operational practices, which if left unattended, could lead to an accident.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Strategies for SMS Expectations

Expectation 2 – Safety Policy

The beginning of a Safety Policy.
There is an expectation that the organization has based its safety management system on the safety policy and there is a clear commitment to safety.
The reason for this expectation is to ensure that there is a system in place for design and performance of a safety policy that has a clear commitment to safety. A clear commitment to safety is an organizational Zero Tolerance to Compromise Aviation Safety. If there is a tolerance to compromise safety, for any reasons, there is not a clear and accountable commitment to safety. An organizational clear commitment to safety is necessary for all personnel to accept their roles and responsibilities.

The safety policy is required by CARs 107.03, which is a safety policy on which the system is based. This is the design portion of a safety policy where an airport, or airline, includes the safety structures and safety systems of their organizations. The safety policy is then signed by accountable executive to communicate senior management commitment to safety. Without a signature by the senior management team, the policy is without an organizational authority to be implement and executed.

The performance portion of this safety policy is required by CARs 305.502 and CARs 705.152, which requires the organizations to communicate their safety policy to all personnel. Communication
with a Safety Management System (SMS) is a two-way communication, where feedback is required for safety policy to be a valid operational document. Often, communication is a one-way street with organizational posts, or email, where information is provided as mass-communication, or to specific individuals without expecting a reply. However, for a safety policy of SMS to be valid, feedback is required for management to assess how personnel interprets the safety policy and how they intend to apply the policy to their daily roles and responsibilities.

It takes ownership and accountability to do great things.
An effective Safety Policy is a policy tailored to the organization that all personnel can recognize, accept accountability for and take ownership of. Without ownership of the Safety Policy, the policy is not effective and could more of a distraction from safety than an asset to safety. Without accountability to the Safety Policy, it often becomes more important to adhere to the text than to the intent of safe operations.

The expectation to have a safety policy in place, and that the safety policy has a clear commitment to safety is just another piece of the complete SMS package for regulatory compliance and safe operations of an airport or airline.