Thursday, September 30, 2021

Smarten Up SMS

 Smarten Up SMS

By Catalina9

We don’t manage risks. We lead personnel, manage equipment, and validate operational design for improved performance above the safety risk level bar. A businesslike approach to safety is to lead the Safety management system in the direction of your visions, goals, and services. Running SMS like a businesslike approach to safety is to Smarten Up SMS. Smarten up SMS is not to ignore or take away regulatory requirements, or jeopardize safety in operations, but it is to make the Safety management system a userfriendly application for the Accountable Executive, SMS Managers, and all other personnel. Smarten Up SMS is applicable to both SMS-operators and non-SMS operators since it is a tool to apply safety in operations.

Smarten Up SMS is a choice at the fork in the road
Smarten Up SMS is based on the regulations that a safety management system shall be adapted to the size, nature and complexity of the operations, activities, hazards, and risks associated with the operation. A Safety management system that is too complex for operations, does not conform to regulatory requirements. The goal of Smarten Up SMS is to operate with a daily quality control program for compliance with the regulations and a prerequisite for a quality assurance program. The objective of Smarten Up SMS is to maintain ongoing regulatory compliance and safety in operations.

There are three parts to a Safety Management System. The first part is for the accountable executive to be responsible for meeting the requirements of the regulations on behalf of the airport authority, city, or town council, the mayor and city administrator, the aerodrome, the airline, aerial applicator or flight training unit. This responsibility includes research and development and the implementation of a daily quality control program.

The second part is for the SMS manager to be responsible for management of the SMS systems and implement plans researched, developed, and designed by the accountable executive. The SMS manager implement a reporting system to ensure the timely collection of information related to hazards, incidents and accidents that may adversely affect safety, identify hazards and carry out risk management analyses of those hazards, investigate, analyze and identify the cause of all hazards, incidents and accidents. The SMS manager also implement an electronic safety data collection system and an electronic analysis system to monitor and analyze trends in hazards, incidents, and accidents. Analyze trends in hazards is different than analyze trends of hazards. Trends of hazards is an enumeration of hazards identified, while trends in hazards are to first identify the effect a hazard has on operations. This can be achieved by defining safety critical areas and safety critical functions in operations. If, over a period of 30 days, 100 highway cones were observed on an airport ramp, there are 100 hazards identified, or one trend of hazards over that period. When applying trends in hazard these highway cones become multiple trends, since the trends may be obstructions to aircraft, obstructing the view, or distractions to pedestrians, vehicles, or aircraft operations. An SMS manager must monitor and evaluate the results of corrective actions, monitor the concerns of the civil aviation industry in respect of safety and their perceived effect on safety, and determine the adequacy of the training required for all personnel. 

Smarten Up SMS is to observe.

The third part of a safety management system is for all operational personnel to take part in the SMS, where operations are observed, reports are submitted, and assigned corrective actions are implemented. 

A daily quality control program is based on a simple principle that if the regulations are not broad enough to capture all aspects of their operation, the operator is responsible for safety in operations and must add additional safety levels to ensure an acceptable level of safety. The principle of Smarten Up SMS is to operate with a userfriendly system for the end-user, places a high workload on the accountable executive to conduct comprehensive research and development.  

The SMS regulations is a helpful tool for operators to document and establish processes that works. SMS is an oversight regulation and is therefore applicable to all aspects, or regulatory requirements of all airport or airline operations. As an example: A daily inspection at an airport is not a regulatory requirement but becomes a tool under the SMS regulation to comply with airport standards. An aerodrome operator, aerial applicator, flight school or airline are all required to comply with their own parts of the regulations and must have tools in place for compliance. Even though the SMS regulations is not applicable to all of these operations, it is a helpful tool to apply to ensure compliance with their specific applicable regulations. 

An operator may voluntarily use the SMS tools as their process control for compliance. Since the SMS tool are already available, and operators have access to use the systems, there is no need to begin new research and development to design a system to implement in their own operations.

It is vital for success for airports and airlines operations that they have a third party to represent their interest at audits, inspections, or onsite regulatory oversight activities. Corrective action plans (CAP), including research, development and presentation are extremely labor intensive and costly for both large and small operators. Develop and design CAP takes away time for safety in operation.

Smarten Up SMS is when nobody is in the office, but where everyone is away working.

The aviation industry has already moved into a rating level system, where audit compliance and customer service become your rating targets published. Just as a rating system is applied to all aspects of social media, it is also applied to aerodrome operators, airlines, flight schools or aerial applicators. Smarten Up SMS is not about what your SMS is, or who you are, but about who you must become.


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