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56 Safety Management Systems for Airports At the discretion of each airport, the following are the main characteristics to be considered for the selection process of a good SMS Manager: · Knowledge of the FAA documents and regulatory requirements · Knowledge of the aeronautical system, safety, and SMS processes · Experience with airport activities associated to the SMS scope · Basic theoretical and practical training accomplished for the function · Familiarity with the functions of the position including: -- Airport safety risk management -- Principles of organization and management -- Management and control of SMS processes -- Process auditing, mitigation, and corrective actions and feedback -- Basic knowledge of airport accident/incident investigations -- Basic knowledge of statistics -- Basic knowledge of performance, performance indicators, and trend analysis · Dynamic and capable of making correct and timely decisions about safety issues · Solid written and oral communication skills · Ability to relate to airport staff and stakeholders · Familiarity with airports reporting systems · Leadership and capacity to influence SMS staff to support safety promotion initiatives · Computer literacy Each airport should establish the minimum requirements for the SMS Manager job function according to its characteristics and needs. 4.4 Implement Each SMS Process At this stage, you should have a clear picture of where you are going (safety policy), the per- son willing to take you there (SMS Manager), and management support (to provide the neces- sary support and resources). Now you need to define the vehicles that will make SMS possible. In other words, define the SMS elements and develop tools to support their execution. The devel- opment process should consider the integration of those elements already in existence within the airport organization, as well as the development of new ones. 4.5 Provide Training to SMS Staff As with any other business or operational activity, SMS will be most effective if the players are competent in performing their duties and are aware of the tools available to them so they can have meaningful participation in the system. Everybody should receive SMS training, initially and on an on-going basis. However, not all personnel should receive the same level of training. A recent hire probably will need to know the basics of SMS and learn how to follow certain pro- cedures (produce a report, for example), whereas the SMS Manager will most likely need to know about risk management, safety investigation, and interviewing techniques. Information on levels of training and suggested programs is found in Section 6.8. Figure 5 illustrates these SMS implementation steps and references for all of the SMS elements described in Chapter 2. 4.6 Proven Practices The following approaches to SMS implementation have been used and proven effective in both the aviation industry and other high-risk industries.
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SMS Implementation 57 SMS IMPLEMENTATION STEPS Step Document the Hazard 1 SMS Identification Safety Risk Management Risk assessment Develop Step 2 Implementation Investigation Plan Process Objectives Corrective Action Plans Step Develop Develop Safety Safety Goals 3 Policy Operating Impact of Changes Safety Procedures Responsibilities Step Appoint Safety Continuous 4 Safety Team Manager Improvement of the Safety System Legal & Others Documentation SMS Manual Process Data Management Reporting Process Records Step Develop SMS Management 5 Processes Performance Performance Measurement & Measurement & Monitoring Monitoring Audit Communication Step Training Processes 6 Emergency Response Process Training Figure 5. SMS implementation steps. Phased-In Implementation For an SMS to be effective, a culture change in the organization may be necessary. This does not happen overnight. A successful implementation will require steady, consecutive small steps that allow people the time they need to understand them, get used to them, and eventually embrace them. SMS will require the integration of existing processes and, in many cases, the development of A phased implementation allows for gradual new ones. These tasks of integrating and develop- and controlled changes to existing practices. ing will probably require the personnel involved People must be prepared for such changes. in SMS implementation to acquire new skills. Too many new initiatives in a relatively short You will need to build confidence within man- period of time can be overwhelming. agement and line personnel. Both management
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58 Safety Management Systems for Airports and line personnel will need to accept this new way of doing business, and more often than not, positive results will need to be demonstrated before the next step can be taken. For example, if you decide to start with a reporting system, make sure that the reports submitted receive a timely and appropriate response. If employees do not see any action (or at least acknowledgement) when they report a safety issue, they likely will stop reporting. If this happens, it will take a much larger effort to get the reporting process re-started. Once you set up your action plan, start implementing one process at a time. Make sure that each element is achieving the desired goals before moving on to the next. Promote each SMS process throughout the organization at every phase of implementation so that all employees understand how it works, what its purpose is, and how they can help. Use Existing Processes and Procedures Many of the processes that are needed to satisfy SMS requirements probably already exist within your airport organization to some extent. For example, many airports have an acci- dent investigation process or an incident/accident reporting system. Make use of as many of your existing processes as you can and integrate them within the SMS context. This will save you a lot of development time and effort, as well as the time to familiarize employees with the process. Select the Right People for Key Positions An enthusiastic individual who is willing to learn will do a lot more for the collective effort than somebody with no interest in getting involved. Someone who may be less qualified but is very enthusiastic could be more valuable to the process. Get Everyone Involved Ask for employee feedback whenever possible. People are more likely to take ownership and pride in things that they helped develop. Advertise planned activities and request suggestions from staff. Allow participa- tion in process development workshops and create work groups to address specific issues. Keep it Simple It is extremely important that processes and tasks are kept to a level that is well understood by all. Avoid long, academic discussions and explanations because it will do very little to support the broad understanding at all levels that SMS requires.