The first topic discussed was the new 2014 IS-BAO protocol and audit report form. It and the revised Standards are available for download from the IBAC website. The question concerned how the new Form 8.2 within the Chapter 3 SMS section, has some new questions about Appropriateness and Effectiveness, which are marked with blue and green highlighting. Is this something that the operator fills out or the auditor fills out? On the call, Walter answered that these are questions that came from the old Form 8.1 SMS evaluation matrix and will normally be filled out by the auditor.
The next topic concerned Hazard Reports. Or some operators may call it something else such as Safety Reports or similar. The question is, in regards to an SMS, how many is an appropriate number of hazard reports that should be reported in a given year? To start with, is there a meaning to what the number is? Yes, from two standpoints: 1st is from identifying hazards, the 2nd is getting buy-in and participation from your employees into the SMS. There is one clearly wrong answer, and that is zero reports. It indicates no participation. As to how many above zero is subject to the size and complexity of the flight department. Walter offered an opinion, as a point of reference, he uses the number of employees in the department should equal the number of reports in a year. For example, if you have 7 pilots, 2 mechanics, and 2 staff members, for a total of 11 employees, you should average a minimum of around 11 hazard reports a year. Sure some employees will fill out 2 or 3 and other will fill out none, but the average should work out. Of course there is going to be variations from company to company, but basically Walter is of the opinion, that as vigilant aviation professionals, we should be able to spot/experience and report at least one hazardous situation in a year. Walter has even seen some operators make it a requirement for employees to file a report each year, or each quarter, or even each month. This is meant to keep everyone vigilant and participating into the SMS. The counter-argument is that people might fill out frivolous reports.
Feed back from the callers included these comments:
A related question was asked: How do you motivate employees to fill out Hazard Reports. Comments to this questions were:
One caller mentioned that they are working on one area to improve their SMS and wanted to know if anyone else was doing something similar. What they are doing is when a Hazard Report comes in, their Safety Committee will give it an initial risk score from the risk matrix. They then analyze the cause, come up with a corrective action and implement. The new thing they are trying is to have a different group of individuals, ones other than the ones who did the initial scoring, then give the situation a new risk score from the matrix, to see if the mitigation is being effective. No one stated they were doing something similar, but comments were made that it sounded like a good idea.
One commentator mentioned that they are not really happy with the online SMS service that they have and was asking if anyone knows of an online SMS service that is perfect. Here are some of the responding comments:
That concluded the call. It was 30 minutes in length. Next call is Tuesday, February 25th, at 11:30am Eastern time. Thank you for your participation. Please let other Safety Officers know of the opportunity to join the call or to access these meeting notes. Thank you.