Maintaining healthy aviation safety management systems (SMS) depend on receiving reports about hazards. Unless the safety managers receive reports on hazards, they may not be able to tackle them proactively. Poor hazard reporting cultures push safety managers into tough situations. When the data collected is not accurate and twisted, it is basically useless for making decisions regarding aviation safety.
How To Improve Aviation Safety Reporting Cultures
Safety managers should periodically evaluate hazard reporting cultures and reassure hazard reporting systems are updated and used regularly. Safety managers must follow the strategies given below:
- Training to identify hazards
- Feedback loop to be improved
- Encourage policy for non-punitive reporting
- Increased awareness and visibility of aviation SMS
- Reward positive behaviour
If the safety managers receive low reporting numbers, this shows that the SMS has failed to perform as it is designed for.
If a safety manager finds poor safety reporting cultures, it indicates
- No trust in management
- Poor employee morale
- Lack of employee buy-in to organisational safety
- Ineffective safety promotion activities
- Poor organisational risk management strategies
Importance Of Promotional Materials
Posters and signs remind options regarding how to report events and hazards. SMS training will teach an employee the type of issue to be reported. Reminders given constantly will help them to be watchful regarding hazardous situations. Posters need to be changed quarterly. It will avoid employees becoming too used to the safety posters so that they don’t notice them.
One more way to emphasize hazard reporting regularly is by providing rewards. Every employee must be recognised for their share in the aviation SMS. This can be achieved by:
- Reporting their achievements in safety memos or bulletins
- Reporting In safety posters
- Recognise them at award ceremonies
- Appreciate them in safety newsletters
To conclude, applying one fix and hoping immediately for an improved safety culture is not realistic. Changing behaviours and attitudes may require time for changes happen taking time and effort. Results can be seen in your safety reporting culture only within six months or a year. To discard a substandard safety culture and move to a compact and whole system, it is always better to start now. It is also important to protect employees against retribution from management when they report concerns regarding safety of the airlines. When employees participate in aviation SMS, they must feel protected and safe. Non-punitive reporting policy implemented in your organisation will encourage them to report safety issues without hesitation.