Avionics News January 2021 - 15

The implementation of safety plans can
be delegated. The communication of
safety objectives can be delegated. The
accountability for safety performance
can be delegated. But the fundamental
establishment of a safety culture and the
responsibility for a safety culture cannot.

bought at any price. And second, and certainly most
importantly, you already have one!
You own your safety culture. Good, bad or indifferent,
every organization, every business, every person has a
safety culture.
As we all know, this past year has been tough with
the global pandemic touching every community and
business within the AEA membership. I was visiting
with a member a few months ago about his company's
handling of COVID-19. If I were to ask what their
" safety culture " was, they would likely tell me they
do not have one. But what was described to me was
an inherent protection of their employees; a protection
of their customers; an understanding of the risk and
their plans to mitigate the risk to the maximum extent
possible. It was not documented. They did not have a
written plan. They simply had a culture of minimizing
the risk of harm to their employees and their customers.
It has been my observation that the smaller the
company, the more positive the safety culture. When
you're on a first-name basis with your employees, when
you know your customers (and often their families),
you tend to care about their health and well-being. The
further the technician is away from the owner/operator,
the further one gets from knowing and understanding the
culture. So the culture that matters is the one that your
immediate supervisor has.
As a line technician, and especially as a new
apprentice, you assume your supervisor is the voice of

the senior leadership. It is assumed that his/her culture
is the culture of senior management. You simply do not
question authority.
This is where SMS comes in. How do you know
management and supervisors share the positive safety
culture of senior leadership? There are three elements
needed. First, the culture starts at the top; second, it
must flow downward throughout the organization; and
third, there must be accountability to the culture to
assure the desired outcome.
If you want a positive safety culture, the senior
leadership must possess a positive safety culture. Then
the senior leadership must communicate the desired
culture to each level of management, each supervisor,
and each technician. And finally, as with every objective
within an organization, there must be accountability
to the safety objectives. Each element has its own
challenges.
The safety culture starts at the top.
SKYbrary defines safety culture as " the way safety
is perceived, valued and prioritized in an organization.
It reflects the real commitment to safety at all levels in
the organization. Safety culture is not something you
get or buy; it is something an organization has. Safety
culture can therefore be positive, negative or neutral. Its
essence is in what people believe about the importance
of safety, including what they think their peers,
Continued on page 51
avionics news

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january

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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
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Avionics News January 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2021 - 1
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Avionics News January 2021 - Cover3
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