Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review Your Safety Policy

There is an expectation that the safety policy is reviewed periodically for continuing applicability. A safety policy establishes guidance for safety objectives and goals for the safe operation of an airport or aircraft. A safety policy is a practical applied document and tailored to each operator for the purpose of being accepted by all personnel within the organization.  Policies that are not accepted by all personnel are impractical to operations and more of a deterrent to safety than no policy at all. A policy that is influenced by a third-party requirement is a not an unfettered policy and is also a deterrent for the safe operation of an airport or aircraft.

A Safety Policy is based on data only.
The expectation that the safety policy is reviewed periodically is to identify processes that has influenced the policy and that the policy is still applicable to detected, or undetected changes of operations. There are several parties involved in airport or airline operations, from tenants, customers, auditors and the environment itself. When there is interference in development, or maintenance of a safety policy the policy sets the stage for unexpected, or undecided results.  

When operational changes go undetected they becomes “normal” to operations. A policy may at first sight appear to be applicable indefinite, since at the time of implementation its intentions were to promote safety and if the policy is questioned, or reviewed it could appear to be an attack on safety itself.  Over the history of aviation, it has been unheard of to question safety. However, by allowing for a safety review of the policy, or in other words question safety, new doors are opened for continuous improvement to aviation safety.

Almost safe doesn’t cut it.
Reviewing the safety policy is a responsibility of the accountable executive. This does not necessary imply that the accountable executive, who often is removed from the operational processes, does the actual review, but implies that the accountable executive accepts accountability to the safety policy itself. This renewed safety policy is then signed by accountable executive and promoted throughout the organization with explanation of why these changes were necessary for the safe operations of airport or aircraft.


CatalinaNJB