Avionics News January 2021 - 51

THE VIEW FROM WASHINGTON
Continued from page 15

superiors and leaders really believe about safety's
priority. "
Let's look at the definition and " the way safety is
perceived. " In the ICAO Document 9859, safety is
defined as " the state in which the possibility of harm
to persons or property damage is reduced to, and
maintained at or below, an acceptable level through
a continuing process of hazard identification and risk
management. " As we discussed earlier, the physical
risk of COVID-19 exposure and the ultimate effect on
the organization and its employees was identified. This
resulted in every (or nearly every) business developing
management protocols to manage the risk - basic
hazard identification and risk management.
In aviation maintenance, we are affected by aviation
safety, but also industrial safety, occupational safety,
environmental safety and economic safety. I would
suggest that each element (industrial, occupational,
environmental and economic) has its own unique
safety hazards, and each hazard has its own risk
management solution.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Now that you have identified the risk and
developed a risk management protocol, what now?
You must share the expectations and the objective.
It is not good for a manager to identify the risk and
develop a mitigation strategy in a vacuum and then
keep the knowledge to himself. If you do not share
your thinking, your analysis, your plan, what is the
employee's perception of the hazard and the risk?
From my interactions with the AEA membership, the
perception of the hazard and risk stretches from one
extreme to the other.
It is only when the risk management strategy is
communicated that the organization can fully and
effectively implement the mitigations to reduce or
eliminate the risk.
And finally, accountability.
What are your quality objectives? 14 CFR ยง 145.211 (a)
requires a repair station to establish and maintain a quality
control system that ensures the airworthiness of the
articles on which the repair station performs maintenance.
What if an employee deliberately or repeatedly fails to
follow instructions? Is there accountability?

What are your operational objectives? Do you have
an employee handbook that addresses work clothing,
work hours, holidays, daily schedules? What if an
employee deliberately or repeatedly fails to abide by
the employee handbook? Is there accountability?
Why should safety objectives be treated differently?
You have a documented quality system, and you
have documented operational objectives that are
clearly communicated as being important. They are
documented; they are written down. But what about
your (yes, your) safety objectives? Are they written
down? If not, are they truly as important as those that
are written down? Can I be held accountable for that
which is not documented?
As the author Philippe Kruchten once said, " If it is
not written down, it does not exist. "
As I said at the beginning, while actions
can be delegated, responsibilities cannot. 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. It is the senior leaders (the owners,
operators, chief executives) within an organization
who set the tone to which everyone follows.
How is safety perceived, valued and prioritized in
your organization?
Do you speak of safety but then focus on budgets
and schedules? Many people believe you must
focus on one to the exception of the other. Budgets
and schedules should not be at the risk of safety.
Likewise, safety should not be at the risk of budgets
and schedules. They should all be on equal footing.
What you share publicly, what you communicate, what
you have accountability for is what sets the tone for
the employees' perception. 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.
The safety culture - the belief that budgets and
schedules are important but not at the risk of harm to
the employees or customers - is a tone that can only
be established from senior leadership. History has
shown that the safety culture of the organization, no
matter how hard some have tried, simply cannot be
delegated. q
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january

2021

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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
Avionics News January 2021 - No label
Avionics News January 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2021 - 1
Avionics News January 2021 - 2
Avionics News January 2021 - 3
Avionics News January 2021 - 4
Avionics News January 2021 - 5
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Avionics News January 2021 - Cover3
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