We recently hosted a Webinar with EASA, the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and HeliOffshore to talk about the challenges of safety implementation. Check out the video from the webinar and the key points from the discussion. What challenges are you facing implementing safety in your own organisation? Perhaps these points will help you as well.
In a collaboration with EASA, EHA and HeliOffshore we challenged a number of safety leaders to consider how we can make it easier to implement safety initiatives in the rotorcraft community. From an EASA perspective we have the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) that has a whole section dedicated to safety actions for Rotorcraft. There is also the EASA Rotorcraft Roadmap that is linked to EPAS and also provides strategic actions to improve rotorcraft safety. But at a practical level, how do we turn all these formal ideas into reality on the frontline of operations?
Both EHA and HeliOffshore have been working closely with their members to do exactly that and the webinar and this short article with help to provide more details on what we have learned together and how that might apply to your organisation's efforts to improve safety in your operation.
How do we take best practice to the frontline?
There are some key things for EASA and other strategic level organisations that also apply to front line organisations. The most important part of this process is to involve your staff throughout to get their buy-in and support from the beginning.
- Set Clear Expectations: It is important to set clear expectations about what is required to develop, establish and adopt best practices. If these processes are not understood, adopting best practice becomes vague and seems optional. Set clear goals on how to improve safety and what the intended outcomes are (what good looks like).
- Communicates with Staff: We need to communicate clearly what could and should be done to improve safety. It is important to explain the need to move beyond the minimum acceptable standard, to outcome-based requirements. Are we talking about too many things at the same time (so nothing really gets traction)? It is important also to think about how to reach people in their own languages?
- Managing the Change Process: Having made the decision to change something, careful change management is essential to navigate transitions between old and new practices. This is particularly where it is vital to have staff buy-in and continually engage them through the change implementation process.