Safety Management System (SMS) Safety Promotion and Raising Awareness

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SofemaOnline considers the Importance of Encouraging Employee Engagement with the Organisations Safety Management System.


The success of SMS is influenced by the willingness of the organisation to reach out and embrace new working methods and change processes, to develop positive changes in organisational and individual culture. If you can do this, improvements in organisational efficiency will usually lead to significant cost savings.

What do we mean by Safety Promotion?

Safety Promotion which can be understood as any activity which contributes to raising awareness and changing attitudes towards an effective SMS.

Safety Promotion also contributes to continuous improvement of our organisational aviation safety system.

Essentially, we are looking at all the activities associated with the Internal Marketing of our Safety System which we can measure against the willingness of people to engage.

What do we mean by Safety Engagement?

Simply put, the more our front-line staff care about our Organisational Safety System as well as the effectiveness of our business processes together with a willingness to report on any anomalies, the stronger and safer will be our organisation.

Delivering Safety Promotion

Safety promotion is an important part of an SMS, by setting the cultural tone for the organisation, we can work to build a robust safety culture. Safety promotion can also help to foster improved safety performance by communicating lessons learned.

The following elements can support effective Safety Promotion:

1. Ensure that all staff are fully aware of the SMS.

2. Convey safety-critical information.

3. Explain why particular actions are taken.

4. Explain why safety procedures are introduced or changed.

5. Convey “nice-to-know” information.

Safety communication could take various forms. The internal (to the organisation) means of safety communication include, but are not limited to:

  • Safety bulletins
  • Safety notices
  • Newsletters
  • Briefings
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Refresher training

Safety Training

Safety training is related to, but different from, safety promotion. Aviation organisations should ensure that their personnel are trained and competent related to their roles and responsibilities to meet their SMS Obligations.

Regarding Safety Management Training Program Content

It is definitely not a case of one size fits all, so training programs should both fit the needs and complexity of your organisation as well as being role-specific.

Providing appropriate training to everyone in the organisation, ensuring a good understanding of the visibility and working process of your SMS to all staff. The aim is to encourage them to be part of your organisation’s safety goals.

Note - The quality and effectiveness of training significantly influence the attitude and professionalism your employees will demonstrate every day.

Communicating our Objectives

A Safety Management System provides a mechanism to proactively seek and identify hazards (a hazard has potential to cause harm – From Low to High) To analyse, quantify and determine the risks which the business faces thereafter to develop mitigations to reduce the perceived risks.

We should understand the importance of sharing (data) and communicating the existence of any hazards as well as other potential exposures and to share this information at all levels of the organization.

Implementing an effective Safety Management System, will let you deal not just with incidents and accidents "events" but will let you develop processes to analyse and mitigate risks.

Considering Positive Actions

SMS must be integrated within all other core business management functions, In addition the correct resources should be made available to the SMS.

Note - SMS Related Manpower Issues (particularly in small companies) can lead to a weak safety culture, This should be identified and acted on in the best way appropriate to the organisation.

Organizations that buy into a fully integrated SMS system see measurable possible effects within the economics of the organisation.

Unfortunately, many organisations whilst attesting to Safety being the No 1 priority often act and behave in a different way.

In reality, If we lose sight of the importance of Safety we are doing two things:

1.  Exposing the business to unnecessary and possibly unknown hazards the cost of incidents and accidents can be very significant.

2.  Missing the opportunity to benefit from optimised savings through efficiency.

We should strive to ensure both efficient and effective management of our safety systems. In this way, we can achieve both safe practices as well as good business.

Next Steps

Sofema Aviation Services and SofemaOnline – Provide Classroom, Webinar & Online Regulatory & Vocational Training.

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