SMS –Safety Management System & Conformance Assurance

While it is now commonplace to have a safety management system (SMS) in place they are reliant on some additional considerations such as people using them and reports being made.

For this purpose, we need to promote and encourage a reporting culture –it can even sound negative that we need to report, but the reality is that reporting is not negative, it is a positive demonstration of a culture that accepts it will make mistakes and is interested in how to reflect and rectify them.

Another important aspect is does the system work and how do we consider this. How can we offer assurance and achieve conformance to the intent of the system and ensure we maintain oversight?

There are many different methods we can use, but they include some of the following: We can use safety performance indicators –Look at key metrics and evaluate are they on target? Are the metrics being used? How do the metrics compare with the targets you have set? An increase in incidents, occurrences or reports for a specific type of incident or location can help us in planning to reduce risk or dealing with the root cause for the increase.

Metrics set will vary based on your company size and operation.

By scrutinising and observing the system including policy and processes along with observations of effectivity and the use of the system as intended we can help ensure that the SMS remains operational and effective. Looking at system usage, departmental “buy in” and local “pockets” of use or non-users mentioned earlier we need to ensure that people trust and believe in the system.

We can also of course use audits; we can plan and ensure routine audits with specific purposes/ functions are in place to check the system; are processes and policy intention are being followed; do they work etc.

There are multiple ways we can ensure the SMS systems that are in place become a focal point and integral in the workplace. Why not learn more about aircraft paint inputs  or consider some of our other courses.

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