Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SAFETY CULTURE

                   Culture is characterized by the beliefs, values, biases and their resultant behaviour that are shared among members of a society, group or organization. An understanding of these cultural components, and the interactions among them, is important to safety management. Among the most influential cultural components are organizational, professional, and national. A reporting culture is key component of these different cultures. The mix of cultural components may vary greatly among organizations and can negatively influence effective hazard reporting, collaborative root cause analysis, and acceptable risk mitigation. Continous improvement in safety performance is possible when safety becomes a value within an organization as well as a priority at the national or professional level .
                        Safety culture encompasses the commonly held perceptions and beliefs of an organization‘s members pertaining to the public‘s safety and can be a determinant of the members‘ behaviour. A healthy safety culture relies on a high degree of trust and respect between personnel and management and must therefore be created and supported at the senior management levels.
                        A healthy safety culture actively seeks improvements, vigilantly remains aware of hazards, and utilizes systems and tools for continuous monitoring, analysis, and investigation. It must exist in State aviation organizations as well as in product and service provider organizations. Other foundations of a healthy safety culture include a shared commitment by personnel and management to personal safety responsibilities, confidence in the safety system, and a documented set of rules and policies. The ultimate responsibility for the establishment and adherence to sound safety practices rests with the management of the organization. A safety culture cannot be effective unless it is embedded within an organization‘s own culture.
                              Organizational culture refers to the characteristics and safety perceptions among members interacting within a particular entity. Organizational value systems include prioritisation or balancing policies covering areas such as productivity vs. quality, safety vs. efficiency, financial vs. technical, professional vs. academic, enforcement vs. corrective action, etc.
               The greatest impact for the creation and maintenance of an effective, self sustaining culture for the management of safety is at the organizational level. The organization is a major determinant of the behaviour in which persons will engage while performing management or operational activities during the delivery or oversight of aviation activities. Organizational culture sets the boundaries for accepted executive and operational performance by establishing the norms and limits. Thus, organizational culture provides a cornerstone for managerial and employee decision-making.
Organizational culture has the potential to affect the following:
a) Interactions between senior and junior members of a group;
b) Interactions between industry and regulatory authority personnel;
c) the degree to which information is shared internally and with the regulatory authorities
d) the prevalence of teamwork in the regulatory authority or industry organization;
e) reactions of personnel under demanding operational conditions;
f) acceptance and utilization of particular technologies; and
g) the tendency to take punitive measures in reaction to operational errors within a product or service provider or by the regulatory authorities
Organization culture is also affected by factors such as:
a) business policies and procedures;
b) supervisory behaviour and practices;
c) safety improvement goals as well as minimum tolerance levels;
d) management attitude toward quality or safety issues;
e) employee training and motivation;
f) the relationship between the regulatory authorities and product and service providers and
g) work life balance policies.
The way in which management deals with day-to-day safety issues is also fundamental to improving organizational culture. Collaborative interaction between front-line personnel with their safety and quality counterparts as well as the representatives of the regulatory authority is indicative of a positive organizational culture. This relationship should be characterized by professional courtesy, while maintaining respective roles as necessary to ensure objectivity or accountability.
    An effective way to promote safe operations is to ensure that an organization has developed an environment where all staff feel responsible for safety. This becomes evident when staff considerthe impact of safety on everything they do, that they report all hazards, errors and threats, and that they support the identification and management of all their associated risks. In addition, management must build an environment in which personnel are aware of safety risks, given sufficient systems to protect themselves, and are assured the protection for their divulgence of safety information through the safety reporting system. An effective safety culture serves as a method to synchronize diverse national and professional cultures within the context of the organization.



Qualty,Safety and Training

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