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.


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