Blog posts tagged in SMS

It is not possible to separate the Safety Management System from the need to manage Ramp HF in the most effective way. In fact the more integration the better in terms of understanding and managing the exposure.

All the elements which are considered as part of our Aviation Ramp Safety & Human Factors Exposure may typically be accommodated and addressed as part of the delivery of the SMS system.

If we are able to study and take appropriate action in respect of the human factors issues, we will be able to better prepare to deal with human factors issues and behaviours in our daily routine.

Driven by ICAO obligations European Countries (as well as the rest of the world) are required to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of ICAO Annex 19.

Airports are specifically mentioned within the requirements related to the need for a State Safety Program as well as the need to demonstrate compliance with the SMS obligations.

Tagged in: HF MHF Ramp Safety SMS
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Steven Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services believes it is time to recognise QAS as a component of our organisations' SMS.

Where Should an EASA Compliant Quality Assurance System “Sit” in relation to the Organisations SMS?

Introduction

Historically (and growing up in the workplace through the 1970’s I can attest to the fact) there was no formal Quality Assurance within European Aviation Operations.

Of course we had Quality Control and the Role of Flight Operations Director and within Maintenance the Role of “Chief Inspector”.

As the Joint Airworthiness Authority’s influence grew the concept of an independent assessment of conformity became the acceptable way of demonstrating compliance.

Tagged in: QA QC Quality Safety SMS
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Posted by on in Regulatory

Comments by Steve Bentley MD Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com

Introduction

As a precursor to the introduction of Regulation 376/2014 EASA identified shortcomings related to Aviation Occurrence Reporting and proposed in 2010 a new regulation which in compliance with ICAO objectives moved the focus from a ‘reactive’ system to a pro-active, risk and evidence based system.  It also acknowledges that safety occurrence data is vital to allow for the timely identification and management of potential safety hazards and acts upon this before these hazards turn into an actual accident. 

EASA introduced EU Regulation 376/2014, (repealing EU directive 2003/42/EC), which came into force on 15th Nov 2015. The regulation provides additional safeguards to address the lack of protection of the reporters, the lack of harmonisation in the occurrence data collection and integration (leading to low quality reports and incomplete information), as well as insufficient requirements regarding safety analysis and the resulting recommendations.

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Introduction

Effective safety reporting of hazards by operational personnel is an important cornerstone of the management of safety. Therefore, an operational environment in which operational personnel have been trained and are constantly encouraged to report hazards is the prerequisite for effective safety reporting.

The ICAO requirements require that aviation service providers develop and maintain, within the scope of their SMS, a formal process for collecting, recording, acting on and generating feedback about hazards in operations. The process shall be based on a combination of reactive, proactive and predictive methods of safety data collection. 

Best Practice Considerations

Consider the following as best practice objectives regarding the delivery of an optimize and effective Safety Management System.

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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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One of the biggest barriers to an effective Safety Management System (SMS) depends on the willingness of the employees to engage with the organisational system and for the managers to support such a program in a positive and tolerant way.

Without the willingness to engage with the Safety Management System (SMS) the level of data capture will lead to the creation of barriers.

Full engagement by the Management Team is an essential first step on the journey and without doubt. If we are going to maintain a healthy safety management systems (SMS) we require an open process of hazard reporting which allows us to understand the exposure and to reduce the operational risk.

How we are impact the various organisational barriers is in turn impacted by cultural and other behaviours which are often routed in mistrust.

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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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What do we mean by Safety Culture within an Organisation?

Safety Culture is the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritized within an organisation.

Safety Culture reflects the true commitment to safety at all levels in the organisation.

James Reason described it as "how an organisation behaves when no one is watching".

Safety Culture is a combination of a range of drivers including organisational norms, national cultural beliefs and professional attitudes. It reflects people attitude and believe towards the importance of safety.

How important is Safety Culture?

A Positive Safety Culture Matters because it provides a focus on how the organisation approaches incident recording, incident analysis, staff training and the integration of maintenance safety and operational safety priorities.

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Where are we in our SMS journey in 2018? It is almost 1 decade since ICAO introduced the requirement for Proactive SMS, the good news is that it is evident that SMS is having a positive effect on the overall safety level across the industry.

In accordance with EASA Regulatory Obligations the accountable executive is accountable for establishing the SMS and allocating sufficient resources to support and maintain an effective SMS.

The current situation shows on examination that across lower levels within the industry (and this is true of almost all organisations) there as still a significant level of unreported exposures. Partly this is due to insufficient engagement with the SMS by many of the junior employees.

Pre-Requisites for Delivering SMS

SMS should build on existing organisation business processes and integrate with all the various elements of the management system. SMS Key Processes include Hazard Identification, Occurrence Reporting, Risk Management and Performance Measurement.

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Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com looks at typical performance indicators within an Integrated Operation

Flight Operation

Ground Operations

Maintenance

The following list serves as an introduction to a range of indicators which may be employed within your organisation to support the development of Key Indicators and to facilitate the measurement of Safety Performance across the business.

Using Data derived from the Compliance Quality Audit Program to support the Performance Metrics of the Safety Management System

1/ Internal audits/compliance monitoring: all non-compliances

a) Total number of findings per audit planning cycle & trend

b) % of findings which have a safety significance

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Within our Aviation system both Quality and Safety Management systems have shared common values. To be effective they both have to be planned and managed and provided with appropriate resources. In addition both aim to involve every relevant functional element within the organization and indeed, both processes strive for continuous improvement. 

Root Cause is Root Cause you may correctly say! So how can there be a difference between Quality Management Systems (QMS) Root Cause and Safety Management Systems (SMS) Root Cause.

Lets first consider the Different roles of Quality & Safety.

Quality is looking at Compliance (It has happened!).

Quality systems tend not to consider the role of risk whereas of course this is a fundamental tenant of the SMS system.

The Quality Management System (QMS) remains however the primary means of ensuring that the organization is meeting requirements (Ensuring Regulatory Compliance) and continuously improving its processes.

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GCAA says now –EASA Says Later! ICAO says 8 years ago (2009)

Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com) considers the current status of SMS within an EASA compliant Part 145 organisation.

What is SMS?

Sure we all know what is a Safety Management System (SMS)

But consider the two options :-

a) Safety Management System focused on ensuring “Mandatory Compliance” with all Safety Objectives

b) Management System focused on developing in an effective way optimized for efficiency and delivering all Mandatory Safety Objectives

Tagged in: EASA GCAA ICAO Part 145 SMS
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Do safety management programs improve a company's bottom line?

The answer is a resounding "YES", although benefits may be somewhat hard to quantify without an effective process to manage DATA and to implement Key Performance Indicators (KPI) & Service Level Agreements (SLA).

In addition to potential outright savings on benefit claims, civil liability damages or litigation expenses, having a solid safety and health management program with senior management commitment will improve productivity and employee morale.

Tagged in: Aviation SMS SMS
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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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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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Buy Safety Management System Overview and Recurrent and Root Cause Analysis for Quality Assurance Practitioners with 45 USD discount

Another great promotion from SofemaOnline.com is here! This time with a look towards SMS & Quality.

The promo offer is valid till 31 March 2016.

SofemaOnline is a leading provider of online regulatory and vocational courses and is one of the few providers of online training for Maintenance Planning and Production Planning specialties.

You do not need to be pre-qualified to undertake any SofemaOnline trainings. All trainings are delivered in a logical step by step process with module exams.

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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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