The theme is "Reporting Safety Issues". You are our eyes and ears out there, and anything that you observe to be a safety issue must be reported. Our SMS program is now well established and 'audited' as you know.
It is an onerous task to prepare for and successfully meet the standards set by (our regulatory agency --- you fill in this area) as well as the regular monthly audits performed by our contracted QA provider. However, we are in good standing. We have an enviable position within the aviation industry regarding our SMS and we are recognized as leaders in the industry.
SMS is based on the model of 'good business practices' to ensure the highest levels of safety and efficiency. This requires us to have a SMS in place that:
- Identifies safety hazards;
- Ensures remedial action necessary to maintain an acceptable level of safety is implemented;
- Provides for continuous monitoring and regular assessment of the safety level achieved; and
- Aims to make continuous improvement to the overall level of safety.
This means specific safety activities must be performed and regulations and directives followed to support fulfillment of the responsibilities concerning safe and efficient delivery of aviation services by (our company). The responsibilities include, in broad terms:
- Following safety regulation
- Accident investigation
- Incident investigation
- Safety Assurance
- Mandatory Reporting Systems
- Voluntary reporting systems
- Safety data analysis and exchange
- Safety Promotion
These are the things we are responsible for. The efficient auditing of safety responsibilities and accountabilities by our regulatory agency should not be underestimated.
So, here it is folks, “we can’t fix it, if we don’t measure it”. Sure, we can bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best, but is it really worth finding out the hard way that there are issues out there that need fixing. Even though you may think nothing changes, in fact, there has been many changes since we started. Often little things become trends that lead us to bigger issues that need to be addressed at a policy or procedure level. However, if you don’t report, we have no trend and you have now denied yourself the power of becoming part of a better system. You will start developing ‘workarounds’ instead of tapping into the power you have to change a system. In the end, this becomes overwhelming and will weaken the system.
You have state of the art tools to work with; all you have to do is support the SMS program through participation and reporting. All staff is properly trained to use the reporting system. Employee participation is essential to ensure the success of SMS. All employees are expected to actively participate in the development and maintenance of the SMS program. This is what you agree to do as the final step of “Induction Training” with our company.
These steps of Audit, Training, and Induction, let everyone know that our company is serious about compliance and ethical behavior. The level of compliance and ethical behavior within our company is measured by the level of participation in the SMS. This means ‘Reporting Safety Issues’ so we can track and trend using (our SMS Pro Program). What’s happening to you may be happening to other crews, but there is no way to know this unless it is reported. Even if you fix the safety issue yourselves, it should be reported as such, so as to become part of the statistics and Lessons Learned within SMS.
So the trick becomes, knowing the difference between, “I’m not happy” and “This is a safety issue.” There is no rule or SOP for this – this requires your good judgment, but if you see something you perceive to be a safety issue, report it. If you report it, we can track and trend it and in the end we will have a better, safer airline and workplace.
SMS is a NON-PUNITIVE SYSTEM. If you are experiencing anything else, please report directly to the Safety Systems Manager.
A safety management system shall clearly define lines of safety accountability throughout the organization, including direct accountability for safety on the part of senior management.