Implementing a Safety Management System - Part 1
Safety Management Systems. Why would any small helicopter operator want to introduce a Safety Management System? The reasons are multiple and include:
- It is a regulatory requirement.
- The direct and indirect costs of an accident are huge and Safety Management Systems have been proven to be effective in preventing accidents.
- Employees are happier when they are ensured a safer working environment.
- When bidding on contracts, it is necessary to demonstrate a working Safety Management System to auditors.
established the necessity of having a Safety Management System in
place, how do we proceed to implement one ? Well, firstly, fairly
obviously, there needs to be a description of the system written down
in a Safety Management System Manual, or, if allowed by regulators in
your country, in a relevant section of the Operations Manual. This is
often the first big stumbling block. It can be difficult to find the
correct information to put in this manual. Probably the easiest way
to get a start is to send an employee on an appropriate SMS course.
Often the course presenters will provide access to a pro-forma SMS
manual during the course. It would include some of the following
important elements of the Safety Management System :
- Details of the company hazard and incident reporting and monitoring systems.
- Details of responsibilities of various postholders regarding safety oversight, reporting.
- Emergency response plan.
The Safety Management System should be overseen by the Safety Manager, but it is important to note that the General Manager (or highest managerial post ) of the company is the responsible person concerning the continued safe operations of the company.
Preferably, the Safety Manager should be involved in the daily flying activites, but should also have enough time to deal properly with all safety issues. They should preferably be an individual that is respected by the flying crew and ground personnel.
Part 2 to follow soon, but in the interim, here is a resource for obtaining a SMS description and manual :
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