Blog posts tagged in Safety Management System

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

Introduction

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.

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Review by Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com)

Regulatory Background

Reference NPA 2019-05 & EASA  (RMT).0251 Phase II in EPAS 2019-2023, NPA proposes amendments to Annex I (Part 21) to Regulation (EU) No 748/2012 and Annex II (Part-145) to Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014, in order to:

○ Introduce safety management principles that implement ICAO Annex 19, and foster an organizational culture for effective safety management and effective occurrence reporting in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 376/2014.

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Risk Assessment

Driven by ICAO Annex 19 Identifying, Assessing, and Mitigating Risk is at the epicentre of an effective Aviation Safety Management System (SMS).

The challenge is to ensure that Safety Risk Assessment is performed in a genuine way with tangible benefits as a measurable outcome. The consequence of a risk can usually be expressed in several ways and these will affect the assessment of severity and likelihood, requiring care competence and diligence on the part of the analysts. 

Delivering Effective Risk Assessment Requires?

When considering Risk the challenge will always be related to the subjectivity of the perceived exposure. Therefore a broad range of contributors to the Risk Assessment Process is highly beneficial including.

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Safety is defined as “The condition to which risks are managed to acceptable levels.”

Whenever Humans and Machines are involved there will always be potential for accident and incident. Safety management is based on the premise that hazards, risks and threats will always exist.

With a Safety Management System (SMS) we focus on the real possibility of reducing the organisations exposure across a range of business areas – we do this by delivering a systematic approach to risk management.

It is possible to promote transparent processes which establish clear lines of accountability and aid decision-making and to use this as a tool to drive positive change.

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Our corporate program EASAOnline for Business (E4B) is a one-stop shop for your organisation’s EASA compliant regulatory training needs.

Fuel Tank Safety | EWIS | Production Planning | Quality Audit | Reliability | Maintenance Planning | Root Cause Analysis | Safety Management Systems | Technical Records EASA PART 145 | EASA OPS Regulation 965 | Part 21 for CAMO

EASAOnline currently has more than 1300 users enrolled in our training courses.

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Our Industry continues to face multiple challenges, including the obligation to comply with a significant regulatory burden but it does not stop there! Other initiatives abound introduced by for example IATA (IOSA) and other niche compliance & SMS drivers (ISBAO & ISBAH for business operators).

With Safety Management Systems, we have superimposed on this story of “compliance” a need to identify exposure in a different way using forward looking techniques where typically we identify gather data to evaluate the risk and exposure to “all” perceived hazards.

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A Discussion Document by Steven Bentley - MD of Sofema Aviation Services

Do we agree the purpose of an Aviation SMS?

1/ According to ICAO

ICAO Doc9859 para 2.13.2 - ‘A hazard is generically defined by safety practitioners as a condition or an object with the potential to cause death, injuries to personnel, damage to equipment or structures, loss of material, or reduction of the ability to perform a prescribed function.’

ICAO Doc9859 para 2.14.2 - ‘Safety risk is the projected likelihood and severity of the consequence or outcome from an existing hazard or situation.’

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The effectiveness of the Safety Management System is directly connected to the management of Competence throughout the organisation.
 
The goal of an effective safety Management System (SMS) competence management system is to:
 
a) Reduce risks
b) Ensure compliance with all legal and other regulatory requirements
c) Comply with the organisation’s business objectives and ensure contractual commitments
d) Empower individuals to deliver their job role obligations in a safe, efficient and effective way
 
Delivering functional safety relies on a complex mix of Process Procedures, oversight mechanisms, Human Factors and the impact of the Safety Culture within the workplace. Competence can be negatively affected by aspects of physical, medical or mental fitness which should also be considered on an ongoing basis.
 
Competence is an essential attribute when considering behaviours in a non-normal situations.
 
For a person to be considered competent, they need appropriate qualifications, together with experience, and other “soft skills” appropriate to their job role.

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It is accepted within our aviation community, that the vast majority of aviation accidents (at least 80%) are directly caused by human action or more precisely by human error. However it would be wrong for us to assume that this is simply a manifestation of personal carelessness or even incompetence, rather we should try to consider that the human error itself is actually the final element of a chain of events.

In fact a major element which hitherto was not given sufficient consideration is the role of the organisation in aircraft incidents and accidents. Often the root cause or contributing factors are embedded within the organisations process and procedures. Unfortunately with hindsight we are often able to understand the existence of numerous latent “exposures” (sometimes too late!).

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What do we mean by Root Cause? Often people have a bias to stopping at an event, which itself has enables or causes, however with practice it becomes easier to work through the process and achieve meaningful results.

Let’s take some time to De-Mystifying Root Cause, when we talk about Root Cause we are simply trying to understand why a “something” has happened – what where the fundamental causes and on the journey to discover as many of the contributing factors as we can.

So the focus is on “Why” and “How” a particular event or condition occurred so that we can develop the correct understanding.

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Considerations related to the delivery of Safety Systems

Where is your organisations current focus? Is it on compliance or Performance?

This is a significant question because whilst compliance is of course mandatory it is through performance related developments that we are able to optimise and drive significant savings within the organisation, whilst at the same time ensuring we deliver a safe and effective business environment.

Where does safety come from?
People or Procedures?

Well simply implementing process and procedure is not in itself going to provide an effective solution to the needs of the organisation.
We rely on people to deliver our safety management system and this in turn requires a specific and viable organisational culture and senior led behaviour.

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Let’s get real!

Question – Is SMS is all about Compliance?
Answer – No – It’s about Managing Risk.

Safety management goes far beyond traditional compliance led approaches to auditing.
So a Safety Management System has to identify potential safety risks and Hazards. At the heart of any effective Safety Management System is a formal Risk Management process that identifies hazards and assesses and mitigates risk.
The next step is to mitigate or manage any risks identified to an acceptable or tolerable level. An essential aspect being the management of risk generated by Contract or Sub Contracted organization particularly where this may directly impact the organization.

Question – Is SMS is just an extension of the Quality System?
Answer – No – Safety Auditing is very different. In fact Safety Auditing is very subjective, almost holistic. Safety Auditing is looking at Risk or in other words the potential exposures, faced by the Organisational system.

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