Avionics News January 2021 - 14

In this monthly column, Ric Peri of the AEA's Washington, D.C., office, informs members of the latest regulatory updates.

B Y

R I C

P E R I
A EA V I C E P R ES I D E N T O F G OV E R N M E N T & I N D U ST RY A F FA I RS

Some things
cannot be delegated

I

n a conversation this past month with an
Aircraft Electronics Association member who,
thinking progressively, suggested that " I'm
thinking about sending my director of maintenance to
safety manager school. " The conversation reminded
me of the communications we've had over the past
decade with the various regulatory authorities about the
implementation of the AEA Safety Management System.
These conversations were a reminder that, while the AEA
can, and does, provide the tools necessary to effectively
implement and manage your safety management system,
you cannot delegate the fundamental safety culture
required to be organizationally effective. Within an
organization, only one person " owns " the safety culture
and sets the tone for safety - the owner, operator, or
senior manager, the top spot on your organization chart.
In the mid-1970s, I served under one of the most
instrumental managers I ever had. As a young mechanic,
our maintenance officer, Lieutenant Bud Tardiff, did
not lecture about the standards; he simply demonstrated
" his " culture, his expectations, and everyone followed.
To this day, I can see him walking across the hangar,
stopping to pick up a piece of safety wire and depositing
it in the nearest rubbish bin: no comment, no lecture, no
14

avionics news

*

january

2021

new policies, just a demonstration of his expectations.
As a result, it was likely the cleanest, most wellorganized workplace of my nearly 50-year career. It was
likely the first time I experienced the " safety culture "
that, five decades later, consumes the headlines of
today's safety journals.

The safety culture of an
organization is not what the senior
leadership thinks or believes, but
rather the perception of safety
held by the organization.
Throughout my career, I have worked in every
culture one can image. The one underlying fact is that
you cannot train or teach a culture, although every
year I watch organizations try to " buy " a culture. They
recognize the regulatory requirement. They might even
recognize the value of a positive safety culture. They
invest large sums of money chasing the mystical safety
culture. I'm sorry to inform you that, first, it cannot be



Avionics News January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News January 2021

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Avionics News January 2021 - Intro
Avionics News January 2021 - No label
Avionics News January 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2021 - 1
Avionics News January 2021 - 2
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