Sadly, as is so common in our industry, it sometimes takes

a serious incident to bring about Safety imitates. A modern classic example of that has to be the Boeing MAX. Safety changes are now being made at a very high expense in lives, money and reputation. I would like to think that a properly functioning SMS would have resulted in the “small stuff” being reported which should have resulted in a full risk analysis being carried out before the two fatal accidents and grounding of the aircraft.

A Safety Management System also calls for an “Accountable Executive.” This requirement now prevents the upper management from hiding under the umbrella of “I didn’t know that was happening.” If you look back at last month’s article, you see that according to a study, the person who has the authority to commit funds to remedy a Safety hazard knows only 4% of the organization’s hazards. The study was likely done on a large organization, but even a small organization can have a leader who doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know. A SMS will call for them to put a system in place so they WILL know, as they will now be held accountable. This designated position cannot be delegated to a Safety officer, but must be the person who controls the funds. This is a great incentive to allocate funds for a successful SMS, as a failure could put his or her job on the line or worse.

Once the commitment has been made, the next step in this phase is to see where we are at and what is needed to move forward. The regulatory body of most countries will have material calling out what they want to see in a SMS. The following is a sample draft (as I see it) check list to

carry out at the beginning of a “Gap Analysis.” Before one can carry out a Gap Analysis, one has to know what the regulations are in your country, as they can vary between countries. If the response to the questions are not yes, take the time

to work out a Corrective Action (CA) with a reasonable response time and a designated responsible person.

PHASE 1 - GAP ANALYSIS 1. Is all management convinced that SMS is a viable Safety measure? Yes ___ No ___ Partial ___ CA (If required) _____________________________________

2 Is all management aware of what their responsibilities will be? Yes ___ No ___ Partial ___ CA (If required) _____________________________________

3 Has there been an agreement to allocate the funds that will be required to set up and maintain the system? Yes ___ No ___ Partial ___ CA (If required) _____________________________________

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