SMS (Safety Management Systems Explained) By Bryan P Bowie SMS seems to be the aviation buzz word right now. ICAO is requiring that all member nations require Safety Management (SMS) systems for certain operators. Many countries, like Canada, already require safety management systems (SMS) for large aircraft. The US is currently working on implementing a SMS requirement for Part 121, Part 135 and also Part 91 large aircraft operators. Also if you go to Bermuda, you will be required to have an Safety Management System (SMS) system in place or at least be working on one. So what exactly is a Safety Management System (SMS) and is it complicated to start one? Well first SMS is considered to be the next step in the evolution of aviation safety. These types of systems are not just for aviation. Actually any business or organization could benefit from a Safety Management System (SMS). You will find that Safety Management Systems (SMS) are being used or developed for the management of other critical areas such as quality, occupational safety and health, security, or the environment to name just a few. Safety Management Systems (SMSs) do not have to be complex or overwhelming. Safety Management Systems (SMS) are really just a change in the attitudes of safety in an organization as a whole. With a safety management system, the whole company embraces the importance of safety and then manages the company’s safety and risk to help to avoid accidents and incidents. SMS is a proactive system to will integrate modern safety risk management and safety assurance concepts into repeatable steps. Safety management systems emphasize safety management as a fundamental business process to be considered in the same manner as other aspects of business management. Safety Management Systems (SMS) do not need to be difficult to develop, implement or to manage. Safety Management Systems may seem complex at first glance but they are really quite simple. The organization just needs to make safety its number one priority. The company would then set up some simple procedures for promoting safety, reporting and tracking hazards and making good decisions based on safety related issues. SMS may seem overwhelming at first but it is not. You just need to promote safety reporting, track the reports and incidents and develop procedures to reduce the risks based on these report and then follow up on your new procedures. SMS is just a process of simple decision making skills that will be written down to mitigate unsafe procedures, policies actions. So what does a Safety Management System provide to a company or organization? It will provide the following five items:
A structured way to make safety related decisions A way to find and react to safety issues before an accident or incident Do a better job of controlling risk though structured safety assurance processes A way to share safety knowledge within the organization, between other organizations including regulatory ones. Procedures to promote safety so that the company has a sound safety culture
Remember Safety Management Systems do not need to be complex. A company just has to decide to embrace the concept of safety and safety reporting. Once the Safety Management System has been embraced by the organization, the company needs develop a safety reporting system including tracking, analysis and follow up that will not result in punitive actions against the reporter. Once this SMS reporting system is in place, the company will need to promote the use of safety reports so that safety related issues can be located and corrected in a timely manner before an incident or accident occurs. SMS is really that simple. So what is holding you back from implementing your Safety Management Systems today? Do not wait; you should get started developing your Safety Management System (SMS) today. It could save you from a catastrophe looming right around the corner for your organization.
Published on Jun 24, 2011