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104 Safety Management Systems for Airports Posting information on an intranet and giving employees responsibility for keeping up to date is one of the latest forms of communication. While fast and flexible, accessing the intranet may be low on the list of priorities for busy people. Cascade meetings can be effective, but even the best managers do not always put the message over in the most timely or persuasive way; not everyone checks that staff have understood, and few check that individual staff members know what the communication means to them and to their role. Figure 14 depicts two cascade meeting processes. In the first situation the communication runs smoothly from the upper to the lower levels of the organization. In the second one, somewhere along the flow process, the information is truncated and not effectively passed to lower levels. Cascading meetings are not always effective. Some of the reasons include the following: · Managers may resist holding the meetings · The issues are poorly delivered and lack effectiveness · Understanding of the issues is not consistent · Feedback process is sanitized · Effectiveness of the process is not evaluated 6.4 Safety Reporting With SMS and a strong safety culture to support it, airport employees gain self-confidence to report hazards, incidents, accidents, and errors. There are additional benefits generated with SMS reporting including the following: · Workers are willing to share their errors and experiences · They become more knowledgeable regarding SMS as a whole · People become motivated to learn new lessons and are more comfortable and helpful when implementing new approaches to improve safety · They are aware of what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior Possible means for safety reporting include the following: · Hardcopy forms and drop-boxes available at various airport locations · An intranet and/or Internet SMS webpage with safety reporting capability · An airport safety phone hotline · Managers and supervisors meetings · Daily briefings, tasking, and debriefings · Intranet/Internet messages Effective Not Effective Figure 14. Possible outcomes of the cascading meeting process.
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SMS Operation 105 From the implementation of a good SMS flows a solid hazard reporting system(33) with at least the following characteristics: · Voluntary, impartial, confidential, and non-punitive (so as to generate trust in the individu- als providing information). Legal counsel is appropriate to check how applicable laws may impact confidential and/or non-punitive reporting systems. · Easy to be reached by any airport employee or stakeholder (auxiliary service companies or air- lines, passengers, and other airport users) to report a hazard · Able to ensure that recommendations resulting from the investigation are available to the air- port operator for information and resolution purposes · Presented in oral or written form. In all cases, reporting must be documented · Able to safeguard confidentiality · Adequate for documenting reported hazards and prompt evaluation of the safety issue · Able to include a response to the reporting party as to the action taken, and its dissemination to the organization, if the airport operator deems it necessary · Managed by the SMS Manager, who is operationally responsible for monitoring the status of hazards identified · Engenders sufficient trust that people are willing to report their errors and experience · Encourages (sometimes, rewards) people to provide safety-related information A good way to get the reporting system working is by raising employee awareness of the pur- pose of the system. An example of a safety reporting form is depicted in Table 22. Reporting systems are one of the most significant ways of obtaining safety infor- mation. You cannot fix something if you do not know what is wrong. However, many systems fail because of the lack of adequate and timely feedback to per- sonnel or follow-up actions. A non-punitive reporting system may encourage people to report events that might otherwise not get reported. This would allow you to get more information about hazards in your operation before an accident happens. Setting up a non-punitive reporting system requires a lot of planning and careful design. The purpose is to encourage reporting by removing fear of punishment. However, that does not mean that people can get away with negligent behavior or with willfully breaking rules. This can sometimes lead to situations where the administration of discipline can be perceived as inconsistent. It is important that everyone understands when punitive actions will or will not be taken. Moreover, the airport has no authority over other organizations (e.g., tenants). Airport contracts and lease agreements may need to have specific clauses to address such a policy before it can be established by the airport operator.
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106 Safety Management Systems for Airports Table 22. Example of safety reporting form. VOLUNTARY SAFETY REPORTING FORM This form should be used to report any airport hazard that has caused or could cause an accident or incident. Send to the SMS Manager as soon as possible after the hazard has been identified or an incident/accident has occurred. 1 PERSONAL DETAILS (person reporting) Name: Position: Contact info: (optional) (optional) (optional) 2 INCIDENT/HAZARD DETAILS Date: Time: AM/PM Shift: Day: Afternoon: Night: Location: Brief Description of Incident/Hazard: (attach diagrams, sketches, or photographs, if available) Names of witnesses: Are there witnesses?: YES: NO: (optional) Type of Incident/Hazard Level of Injury (If applicable) Brief description of injury/damage Health and/or Safety No Injury Property Damage First Aid Environmental Medical Treatment (Doctor) Near Miss Hospital Inpatient Other Fatal Confidentiality Commitment You can submit the form anonymously (if you so chose) by omitting relevant details. If you do provide your name, it will only be used by the SMS Manager to enhance the understanding of the event with follow-up actions should that be required; and, under no circumstances, will your identity be disclosed to any person or organization without your express permission. At large and medium airports, safety reporting may require a more formal procedure because the organization may have many layers and sections, making communication more difficult to achieve. At small airports, particularly those for general aviation, communication tends to be more effective and is normally performed on a daily basis. A less formal procedure is recommended for small airports. However, even for general aviation airports, it is important to keep track of what and when a safety issue was reported, and which actions were taken to solve or mitigate the risks involved. A simple spreadsheet should be sufficient for this purpose.