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.