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Safety Management Systems Explained: Structure and Benefits Q And A

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Introduction - Enhancing Aviation Safety: Systems, Culture, and Security

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Part - One

What is a Safety Management System and how is it structured?

Answers- The safety management system is designed for the management of the safety risk that occurs at the workplace. The occupational safety which are being defined for the reducing of the risk to the level which is very low as it is considered as the reasonably practicable for the prevention of the people who are getting hurt. The major objective of safety management system is for the providing of the structured management approach for the controlling of the risks regarding the safety in the operations (Yiu et al., 2018). These effective safety management must be taken into the consideration for the specific structures of the organisation and the processes which are related to the safety of the operations. The Six Point Safety Strategy under the safety management system is one of the approaches which are comprehensive in the nature for the identifying of the safety issues regarding the organisational goals, as well as the operational goals. It has also been implemented in the close cooperation with the member of the airlines and also the partners involved in Strategic planning through the Safety Group which is also known as SG under IATA and the Safety, Flight and Ground Operations Advisory Council that are also known as SFGOAC. It also covers the following are-

  • monitoring of the safety performances.
  • dissemination of information and then analysis of the information.
  • facilitation and safety promotion (Robertson 2018).

Give a brief overview of the reasons why SMS was introduced. Which organisations in aviation are required to have an SMS?

Answers- The use of the safety management systems has been interpreted through the application of the quality management approach for the controlling of the safety risks. These are very much similar to the other functions of the management as this safety management has been requiring the planning as well as the organising and the communicating and providing the directions to the management. The safety management system is introduced for the providing of the structured management approach for the controlling of the risks regarding the safety in the operations (Robertson 2018). These effective safety management must be taken into the consideration for the specific structures of the organisation and the processes which are related to the safety of the operations. It also helps in providing the framework of the organisation for the establishment as well as for the fostering of the development of the positive safety culture in the corporate world. It helps in providing a structured set of the tools for meeting up the responsibilities as well as the duties by the management of an organisations for the safety purpose as defined by the regulators (Yiu et al., 2018).

As per the ICAO Standards and the recommended practices which are promulgated in the several annexures for requiring the implementation of the safety management system by following the aviation organisations who work as the service providers-

  • The operators of the aircraft.
  • The organisations for the maintenance of the aircraft.
  • The service providers of the air navigation (Hassan et al., 2020).
  • The operators at the airport.

How important is it for an organisation to have a b safety culture and what are the indicators of a b safety culture?

Answers- The presence of the b safety culture in the organisation is to make sure that there is setting up of the required and the high level of standards for all the processes regarding safety by the management of the organisation. The organization must set some strict level of the procedures for the purpose of reporting (Hassan et al., 2020), as well as for inspecting, by the top-level Management which also includes the training as well as finally ensure that there is an overall safety management in the organisation. The safety culture in the organisation which has made believed that there is progresses toward the safety culture which are true in the nature. This safety culture is also responsible for making proper use of the systems of the accountability in an organisation. These are the systems which help in the establishment of the safety goals, that helps in measuring of the activities, regarding the safety. And also, it would charge the costs back to the units that actually has incur the same costs (Yiu et al., 2018). This would further enable the organizations in creating of the certain level of discipline towards safety in the organisations while making preparations for the respective audits. This would be ensuring they are compliant with all workplace safety standards. It also helps reduce the amount of time preparing for audits, which again, would make improvements in the overall productivity of the management of an organization.

In addition, for the further implementing of the b safety culture for making a higher level of the promotion for a sense of commitment towards the safety of the employees and helpful in the encouragement of the participations of the employee as well as the accountability at the workplace and its safety (Hassan et al., 2020).

The indicator of the safety culture are:

  • There should be a reactive safety work culture for making sure that even in any circumstances, the workers are safe.
  • The good quality communication and the effective phase of the communication, to follow a positive safety culture at the work place.
  • The safety culture must be informed by the work force at the workplace.
  • There is an active role of the management in demonstration of the safety as one of the top priorities.
  • All the human resources are equally responsible for the safety at the workplace (Yiu et al., 2018).

Part - two

Explanation of the incident-

In the Birmingham accident which happened with the British Airways, a window had blown out as a consequence of the poor maintenance procedures the day before (Batuwangala et al., 2018). This was a flight mishap but it would not be discussing the flight other than to state that the windshield of the pilot was blown out passing 17,300' because it was not installed properly. The captain had blown mostly out of the cockpit and would have died if it had not been for the efforts or the attempts of the cabin crew who on to him and of the first officer for getting the airplane on the ground rapidly (Batuwangala et al., 2018).

As per the incident that has occurred on the 10th of June in the year 1990, there was a mid-air drama has not folded in the skies over the country England after an explosive decompression that rocked British Airways flight. As the plane has climbed toward cruising altitude on a flight to Málaga, the cockpit has the windscreen which suddenly has blown out, and this ultimately sucking the captain partially out of the plane. While the attendants held onto their legs for saving their life, the sole had remained the pilot lined up for an emergency landing in the area of Southampton, by working alone under huge pressure for saving the lives of those eighty-one passengers (Batuwangala et al., 2018).

Failures that were reasons for the causing the accident-

There was a difference in the pressure inside as well as outside the cockpit. The screen of the wind in the fight was fitted from outside the cockpit and thus, they had been working against these pressures (Ye?im et al., 2018). During investigation procedure, it has also been found that the bolts used was a size smaller that the correct size. As differential pressure increased, the bolts were being used and could not have hold on and thus had started giving away. The screen of the wind had got blown out the British Airways flight.

Further, investigation procedure has found that these aircraft has removed the bolts which were also of the wrong size. The technician had tried of finding the match after removing of the bolts without referring to the catalogue (Ioannou et al., 2017).

The Reasons of the failures which had eventually being the reason for causing an accident can be categorized as follows are:

Physical factors: These are the factors which were visibly found by the investigators as the reasons for the failure at the time of the analysis. The reasons which were described as the physical factors are (Ye?im et al., 2018)-

The screen of the wind was fitted from outside as per design of the aircraft. Thus, they were required for being working against vacuum. The design was not very much adequate.

Human Factors: These are the factors which were visibly found by the investigators as the human beings were the reasons for the failure at the time of the analysis. The reasons which were described as the human factors are (Mendonca et al., 2017)-

  • The technician had not referred the catalogue or the user manual of the aircraft and instead they had believed to their limited amount of knowledge as well as the experience.
  • The Technician had mostly continued of working in the position which were awkward and thus they had not firmed the grip on the screw driver of the aircraft.

System Factors: These are the factors which were visibly found by the investigators and there were some faults in the system as the reasons for the failure at the time of the analysis. The reasons which were described as the systems factors are (Stolzer et al., 2018)-

  • The job had done was not very much verified by any other person, which are being of critical nature.
  • There has always been a system factor which is behind every incident or might be very a near mistake (Mendonca et al., 2017).
  • There has been high probability of the occurrence of these types of the incident that would have been minimized, if the screen of the wind had been fitted from inside. Also, If there are airlines which have system check as redundant in the place for such work or the jobs that are done on aircraft, and these are the errors which must have been caught by the technicians beforehand (Stolzer et al., 2018).

How an SMS could have prevented the main hazards and the risks-

Using of the safety management system is very simple for the adoption of the approaches which are somehow similar to the safety of the business which are involved in the aircraft operations, and also somehow that is very much similar to the methods that includes also about how the finances of the aircrafts could be effectively managed (Stolzer et al., 2018). Unless if there is any organisation or any aircraft company that has experienced some sort of the losses, or can be critically make the assessment of both of the costs which includes the direct costs as well as the indirect costs of an occurrence, thus its implications or the applications in full are not very likely to get appreciation. These are the direct costs in the aircraft business are usually very much easy for quantifying, they had even included the damages to the aircraft, and there is very high compensation for the damages as well as the injuries that occurred to the property and are usually make an easy settlement through the perspective of claiming the insurance amount (Cusick et al.,2017).

The indirect costs are far much difficult for making the assessment, and these are often neither fully reimbursed nor get covered by the insurance of the company and thus the impact of the costs are also often delayed in the aircraft businesses.

Using of the safety management system has some clear benefits in the aircraft businesses which are as follows (Cusick et al.,2017):

There should be a proper range of the stability as well as the safety and providing of the proper assistance or the support to the customers of the business. The customers of the business must be kept aware of some required operations that are usually safer than others (Grimaccia et al., 2017). It should be made try that there could be few possible reductions in the insurance premiums through an easy demonstration of controlling of risks involved in safety measures. One business as an organisation or the company must follow good work practices which are ethical as well as life balance practices, for example, there must be a proper adjustment of the rosters of the employees for avoiding the most tiring shift or the sector that would give higher safety benefits to them, and could also make improvement in the morale of the staff as well as the crew members of the aircraft business (Yiu et al., 2018). Further this would help in potentially lowering the turnover of the staffs and also make reductions in the training costs of the employees (Grimaccia et al., 2017).

The appropriate new safety management policies, processes and the procedures are-

This is considered as one of the proactive approaches towards safety that could be explained with the evidence that are documented at the time of the incident or the accident occurred (Grimaccia et al., 2017).

The cost of maintenance as well as the implementation of the safety management system that is SMS has become less important to the aircraft business. The business involved considered it as a well worth the investment at the time of contrasting with the cost of doing nothing. It makes sound business as well as the sense of the safety is felt by the businesses.

The new safety management policies, processes as well as the procedures must be implemented so that in future it could avoid the risk are (Singh et al., 2019)-

  • Developing the recommendation so that the gaps could be addressed.
  • Prioritising these recommendations.
  • Focusing on the improvement of the risks related with the safety.
  • Establishment of the action plans as well as the processes so that effectiveness could be supported (Singh et al., 2019).

Part - three

Effectiveness of the five changes that have been introduced after 9/11 for increasing the aircraft security

Answers: The five changes and its effectiveness are discussed below (Kaspers et al., 2019)-

  • There is high improvement in the security on the aircraft: After the incident of 9/11, the passengers are not allowed to enter the cock pit during the flight. The pilots have also been allowed to carry the firearms, and thus are trained as well as licensed (Kaspers et al., 2019).
  • There is high improvement in security screening: After the incident of 9/11, the checkpoint screening has been tightened significantly, and the personnel of the security are effectively trained with the detecting of the weapons or the explosives on their persons. There are also newer body scanners have also been introduced in the airports (Yiu et al., 2018).
  • Aircraft are now equipped with the cameras: The aircraft business has made it sure after the incident of 09/11 that al the flights are well equipped with the camera and CCTV so that the pilots could monitor the activity in the cabin effectively (Insua et al., 2019).
  • There is a high check on the identification: After the incident that took place on 09/11, the all of the passengers at the airport must now be having a valid government issued identification cards in order to use the flight. The airport security is allowed to check these identification cards at any time to make sure that the details on the card match with the virtual screening.
  • There are also respective changes in the lawsuits: The laws that require passengers to show the identification cards, and the other laws regarding the passport were tightened by the government after the incident of 9/11 (Insua et al., 2019).


Batuwangala, E., Silva, J. and Wild, G., 2018. The regulatory framework for safety management systems in airworthiness organisations. Aerospace, 5(4), p.117.

Cusick, S.K., Cortes, A.I. and Rodrigues, C.C., 2017. Commercial aviation safety. McGraw-Hill Education.

Grimaccia, F., Bonfante, F., Battipede, M., Maggiore, P. and Filippone, E., 2017. Risk analysis of the future implementation of a safety management system for multiple rpas based on first demonstration flights. Electronics, 6(3), p.50.

Hassan, M. and Maitlo, G.M., 2020. Impact of Crew Training and Safety Management System on Operational Management in Aviation Industry of Pakistan. Amazonia Investiga, 9(30), pp.119-126.

Insua, D.R., Alfaro, C., Gomez, J., Hernandez-Coronado, P. and Bernal, F., 2019. Forecasting and assessing consequences of aviation safety occurrences. Safety science, 111, pp.243-252.

Ioannou, C., Harris, D. and Dahlstrom, N., 2017. Safety management practices hindering the development of safety performance indicators in aviation service providers. Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors.

Kaspers, S., Karanikas, N., Piric, S., van Aalst, R., de Boer, R.J. and Roelen, A., 2017. Measuring safety in aviation: Empirical results about the relation between safety outcomes and safety management system processes, operational activities and demographic data. In PESARO 2017: The Seventh International Conference on Performance, Safety and Robustness in Complex Systems and Applications, IARIA (pp. 9-16).

Kaspers, S., Karanikas, N., Roelen, A., Piric, S. and Boer, R.J.D., 2019. How does aviation industry measure safety performance? Current practice and limitations. International Journal of Aviation Management, 4(3), pp.224-245.

Mendonca, F.A. and Carney, T.Q., 2017. A safety management model for FAR 141 approved flight schools. Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering, 6(2), p.3.

Robertson, M.F., 2018. Examining the relationship between safety management system implementation and safety culture in Collegiate flight schools. Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering, 7(2), p.1.

Singh, V., Sharma, S.K., Chadha, I. and Singh, T., 2019. Investigating the moderating effects of multi group on safety performance: The case of civil aviation. Case studies on transport policy, 7(2), pp.477-488.

Stolzer, A.J., Friend, M.A., Truong, D., Tuccio, W.A. and Aguiar, M., 2018. Measuring and evaluating safety management system effectiveness using data envelopment analysis. Safety science, 104, pp.55-69.

Ye?im, K.U.R.T. and Gerede, E., 2018. An assessment of aviation safety management system applications from The New Institutional Theory perspective. Uluslararas? Yönetim ?ktisat ve ??letme Dergisi, 14(1), pp.97-122.

Yiu, N.S., Chan, D.W., Shan, M. and Sze, N.N., 2019. Implementation of safety management system in managing construction projects: Benefits and obstacles. Safety science, 117, pp.23-32.

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