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Risk managment in aviation environment

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Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 1 of 14
Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 2 of 14
Risk Management in Aviation Environment
Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 3 of 14
Introduction
The complete elimination of risk in aviation operations obviously is an...
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Risk managment in aviation environment

  1. 1. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 1 of 14
  2. 2. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 2 of 14 Risk Management in Aviation Environment
  3. 3. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 3 of 14 Introduction The complete elimination of risk in aviation operations obviously is an unachievable and impractical goal (being perfectly safe means to stop all aviation activities and to ground all aircraft). As not all risks can be removed, nor are all possible risk mitigation measures economically practical. In other words, it is accepted that there will be some residual risk of harm to people, property or environment, but this is considered to be acceptable or tolerable by the responsible authority and the society. Risk management, being a central component of the SMS, plays vital role in addressing the risk in practical terms. It requires a coherent and consistent process of objective analysis, in particular for evaluating the operational risks. In general, Risk Management is a structured approach and systematic actions aimed to achieve the balance between the identified and assessed risk and practicable risk mitigation. In the aviation environment, Safety Management System or SMS is a proven practice being utilized to bring formal structure to managing the risks associated with multiple aspects of fire aviation. The goal of SMS is to create a positive safety culture where practitioners continually challenge existing aviation practices, culture and systems in order to identify weaknesses and to identify where improvements can be made. The SMS program is based on the pillars of Policy, Risk Management, Quality Assurance, and Safety Promotion. A vital part of SMS is the ability to accomplish key risk assessments.
  4. 4. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 4 of 14 Definition “Risk management. The identification, analysis and elimination (and/or mitigation to an acceptable or tolerable level) of those hazards, as well as the subsequent risks, that threaten the viability of an organization.” (ICAO Doc 9859). “Safety risk management (SRM) - a formal process within the SMS composed of describing the system, identifying the hazards, assessing the risk, analyzing the risk, and controlling the risk. The SRM process is embedded in the processes used to provide the product/service; it is not a separated distinct process.” (FAA AC120-92, Introduction to SMS for Air Operators). The objective of Risk Management is to ensure that the risks associated with hazards to flight operations are systematically and formally identified, assessed, and managed within acceptable safety levels. Risk Management Elements Risk management consists of three essential elements: Hazard identification - Identification of undesired or adverse events that can lead to the occurrence of a hazard and the analysis of mechanisms by which these events may occur and cause harm. Both reactive and proactive methods and techniques should be used for hazard identification. Risk assessment - Identified hazards are assessed in terms of criticality of their harmful effect and ranked in order of their risk-bearing potential. They are assessed often by experienced personnel, or by utilizing more formal techniques and through analytical expertise. The severity of consequences and the likelihood (frequency) of occurrence of hazards are determined. If the risk is considered acceptable, operation continues without any intervention, if it is not acceptable, risk mitigation process is engaged.
  5. 5. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 5 of 14 Risk mitigation - If the risk is considered to be unacceptable, then control measures are taken to fortify and increase the level of defenses against that risk or to avoid or remove the risk, if this is economically feasible. The flow chart above depicting the Risk Management process: Furthermore, effective Risk Management requires that the safety “cost-benefit” of the planned and implemented course of actions is analyzed, including the case of choosing a “do nothing” strategy. If it is decided to act for limiting the exposure to the identified risks, each risk control measure needs to be evaluated, to reveal possible latent hazards
  6. 6. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 6 of 14 and dormant risks that may arise from activating that measure. Once these control measures are implemented, the organization needs to ensure they are engaged in a correct way, and this is achieved through a set of arrangements, processes and systematic actions, which build the Safety Assurance domain of the SMS. Risk Management is based on a variety of hazard identification means. According to ICAO Doc 9859 this SMS component may include both proactive and reactive methods and techniques. Safety occurrence reporting and investigation, being assigned to the reactive category, are well known essential means for identifying key risk areas and corrective risk mitigation measures. In addition, the increasing integration, automation and complexity of flight operations requires a proactive, systematic and structured approach to risk assessment and mitigation using predictive and monitoring techniques. Risk assessment need to be conducted for any changes that may impact the safety of services provided by the operator/service provider. Types of Risk
  7. 7. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 7 of 14 The risk management concept is equally important in all aviation sectors and should be implemented in a consistent manner by airline operators, air navigation service providers, certified aerodrome operators, maintenance organizations and training organization. Its strategies include identifying the risk, assessing the risk, avoiding or reducing the risk and accepting certain risks.
  8. 8. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 8 of 14 Hazard Defining Hazard By definition, a hazard is a present condition, event, object, or circumstance that could lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesired event such as an accident. It is a source of danger. Four common aviation hazards are: 1. A nick in the propeller blade 2. Improper refueling of an aircraft 3. Pilot fatigue 4. Use of unapproved hardware on aircraft Recognizing the Hazard Recognizing hazards is critical to beginning the risk management process. Sometimes, one should look past the immediate condition and project the progression of the
  9. 9. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 9 of 14 condition. This ability to project the condition into the future comes from experience, training, and observation. 1. A nick in the propeller blade is a hazard because it can lead to a fatigue crack, resulting in the loss of the propeller outboard of that point. With enough loss, the vibration could be great enough to break the engine mounts and allow the engine to separate from the aircraft. 2. Improper refueling of an aircraft is a hazard because improperly bonding and/or grounding the aircraft creates static electricity that can spark a fire in the refueling vapors. Improper refueling could also mean fueling a gasoline fuel system with turbine fuel. Both of these examples show how a simple process can become expensive at best and deadly at worst. 3. Pilot fatigue is a hazard because the pilot may not realize he or she is too tired to fly until serious errors are made. Humans are very poor monitors of their own mental condition and level of fatigue. Fatigue can be as debilitating as drug usage, according to some studies. 4. Use of unapproved hardware on aircraft poses problems because aviation hardware is tested prior to its use on an aircraft for such general properties as hardness, brittleness, malleability, ductility, elasticity, toughness, density, fusibility, conductivity, and contraction and expansion. The concepts of hazard and risk are the core elements of risk management. Types of risk and the experience of the pilot determine that individual‟s acceptable level of risk. Three out of four accidents result from improper human performance.
  10. 10. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 10 of 14 The human element is the most flexible, adaptable, and valuable part of the aviation system, but it is also the most vulnerable to influences that can adversely affect its performance The study of human behavior is an attempt to explain how and why humans function the way they do. A complex topic, human behavior is a product both of innate human nature and of individual experience and environment. Definitions of human behavior abound, depending on the field of study. In the scientific world, human behavior is seen as the product of factors that cause people to act in predictable ways The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) utilizes studies of human behavior in an attempt to reduce human error in aviation. Historically, the term “pilot error” has been used to describe an accident in which an action or decision made by the pilot was the cause or a contributing factor that led to the accident. This definition also includes the pilot‟s failure to make a correct decision or take proper action. From a broader perspective, the phrase “human factors related” more aptly describes these accidents. A single decision or event does not lead to an accident, but a series of events; the resultant decisions together form a chain of events leading to an outcome. Many of these events involve the interaction of flight crews. In fact, airlines have long adopted programs for crew resource management (CRM) and line oriented flight training (LOFT) which has had a positive impact upon both safety and profit. These same processes can be applied (to an extent) to general aviation. Since poor decision-making by pilots (human error) has been identified as a major factor in many aviation accidents, human behavior research tries to determine an
  11. 11. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 11 of 14 individual‟s predisposition to taking risks and the level of an individual‟s involvement in accidents. Drawing upon decades of research, countless scientists have tried to figure out how to improve pilot performance. Is there an accident-prone pilot? A study in 1951 published by Elizabeth Mechem Fuller and Helen B. Baune of the University of Minnesota determined there were injury-prone children. The study was comprised of two separate groups of second grade students. Fifty-five students were considered accident repeaters and 48 students had no accidents. Both groups were from the same school of 600 and their family. Be an example Whether you know it or not, whether you intend it or not, you are a leader. You are a role model for all the people in your organization. They watch what you do and imitate your words and your actions. From the top to the bottom, from the center to the outposts of the organization, your traits, your attitudes and your actions, will be copied. If you believe safety is important to the security and prosperity of your organization, and your actions reflect your beliefs, your staff will invest their own time and efforts; and given time, will make your beliefs and actions their own. You can leverage and broadcast your beliefs by publicly announcing your views through staff newsletters, safety articles and safety bulletins. You can also declare your commitment to your SMS by publicly rewarding those managers and staff who demonstrate exemplary safety behavior and/or proactively identify hazards or suggest workable safety solution . Create a positive safety culture Ultimately, the success of an SMS hinges on the development of a positive safety culture which promotes open reporting through non punitive disciplinary policies and
  12. 12. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 12 of 14 continual improvement through proactive safety assessments and quality assurance. This will be achieved by the implementation and continuing support of an SMS based on cohesive policies and procedures. Creating a positive safety culture will also help identify what is really going on in your organization and help you understand your risks. A positive safety culture is the embodiment of effective programs, decision making and accountability at all levels. Safety culture, first and foremost is about how managerial decisions are made, about the incentives and disincentives within an organization for promoting safety. There is often a great gap between what senior management believe to be the safety culture of an organization and what is actually going on. Inspiring staff This is key to creating a positive safety culture. Establishing and promoting a safety vision which staff can aspire to is one of the most powerful actions senior manager can take. Seeking input from staff adds even more weight. A message from the top team that “safety matters” affects decisions and morale of staff. Safety objectives and safety targets support the safety vision. Each of these endeavours sends a clear message to staff that we‟re on board with SMS and on the road to achieving our safety vision. Talk about it One of the best ways to be involved is by leading the highest level safety meetings. As an Accountable Manager you are responsible for the safety of your organization, so it makes sense that you are front and center during regular executive safety meetings. By making yourself available for these meetings you can:
  13. 13. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 13 of 14  review your organization‟s safety objectives and monitor achievement of our safety targets  stay up to date on the safety health of your business  make timely safety decisions  allocate the appropriate resources  hold managers accountable for safety responsibilities, performance and implementation timelines  be seen by managers and staff as a person who is interested in, and in charge of, safety. Delegating Although named as the Accountable Manager(s), senior managers often are not involved in, or have little knowledge of, the systems or the problems faced in the workplace Senior managers often delegate the duties and responsibilities so as to maintain control of the competing „top priorities‟. Senior managers can delegate responsibility for day-to-day operation of the SMS–BUT –senior managers cannot delegate accountability for the system and important risk decisions. Conclusion The Aviation Industries and other originations are working to find possible methods to avoid hazard to the worker, equipment‟s and the customers. As we can see the possible methods to prevent and avoid the hazard is effective yet one need to maintain his or her role to prevent the hazard. In future Aviation hazard can possible avoid by using combined methods. Use a single method is not an effective way.
  14. 14. Cristiane R. de Freitas, Page 14 of 14 References Federal Aviation Administration, Risk Management Handbook, 2014, from http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/risk_management _handbook/ The Senior Manager‟s Role in SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, 2011, from https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/872/20110913SMSAPracticalGuideForSenior%20Manager sV4UKVersion.pdf

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