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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: How do you define a Safety Culture?
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Poll
Question: Is safety a Value or a Principle
Value   -7 (58.3%)
Principle   -5 (41.7%)
Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: How do you define a Safety Culture?  (Read 2175 times)
capsafety
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« on: December 01, 2016, 09:12:36 AM »

So this is my first CAPTalk post in a year. I took some time off to finish my Masters. So now that I have some free time I want to get back to the fun…I will get back to my favorite hobby other than my “art studio” and that is Safety. So I am asking my fellow CAP members for their input on a book I am working on dealing with Safety Cultures. This is a combination of a poll and your opinion on how a safety culture should be approached. Either as a Value or as a Principle. I already have the foundation for the book but want to read what others think as well and know I can find some interesting opinions and insights on this forum. Please feel free to share.

 :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X I will add my view after a couple of days. I don't want to tarnish the results.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 02:48:26 PM by capmandone » Logged
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Eclipse
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 09:25:00 AM »

"Value".

An interesting basis for the discussion.
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Chappie
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 02:34:56 PM »

Most definitely a "value".   Has to be embraced and practiced, in order to be effective.
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AirAux
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 02:42:25 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".
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capsafety
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Posts: 1,261

« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 02:56:43 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".

Sounds like a line from the movie "Down Periscope"
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,620

« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 03:09:27 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".

Sounds like a line from the movie "Down Periscope"



That movie isn't exactly a stunning example of safety >:D.
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The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 931

« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 03:17:04 PM »

I'm a bit stuck on your definition of the word "value."

Value can have separate meanings:
- A principle or belief by which one perceives the philosophical importance of
- A factored cost associated with the ways in which one conducts themselves

Consider the first definition of "value." In this idea of valuing safety, we are establishing a commitment to protect individuals from harm, physical or emotional, because of a philosophical respect for their well being. It's a sentiment.

Consider the second definition of "value." In this idea of valuing safety, we are placing a value of property and other associated costs which can either be used to benefit the organization financially or hurt the organization financially. If you want to get even deeper, you can factor in the retention aspect of personnel.


As an airline auditor, our IATA/IOSA program identifies specific requirements that airlines have to implement into their safety culture. The airline sees this mostly as a regard for business operations, whereas the international safety community sees it as a counter to business practices in order to maximize the safety responsibilities for personnel.

"The Operator shall have a corporate safety policy that:
(i) Reflects the organizational commitment regarding safety, including the promotion of a positive safety culture;
(ii) Includes a statement about the provision of necessary resources for the implementation of the safety policy;
(iii) Is communicated throughout the organization
(iv) Is periodically reviewed to ensure continued relevance to the organization"

Guidance suggests that the safety policy of a company should establish objectives reflective of management's commitment to the value (principle) of a safety program:
- Compliance with applicable regulations and standards of the Operator
- Ensuring the management of safety risks to aircraft operations
- The promotion of safety awareness
- Continual improvement of operational performance


So, I think you can really break down as to the benefits of safety as a cost value as well as a value on the well being of personnel (which includes financial values, reputation, and sentiment for fellow man). It's all inter-mixed.

The difficulty you often face in a volunteer organization is that, aside from one's commitment to avoid a personal interaction with safety hazards, you have a hard time holding individuals accountable to the best practices of your safety program, through any echelon of the organization. It's very challenging to push for non-punitive mandated safety reporting, filling out paperwork, holding proactive discussions, and enforcing standards because there is not a whole lot of incentive aside from the simple phrase "I hope nobody gets hurt." Most organizations where people are being paid to adhere to safety protocols already have a hard time ensuring everyone follows procedures. A volunteer organization makes it that much more difficult.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 03:28:26 PM »

This is what I found on fist click of the comparison, seemed straightforward to me:
https://www.reference.com/world-view/difference-between-values-principles-b74279a14a5990c4

     A "principle" is acceptance of something as truth or a belief that a certain standard or rule is not up for debate.

     A "value" is a person's personal belief for or against something.

IMHO, the former is CAP's current actuarial / checkbox mentality of "safety first" (i.e. "...do this, and you shall be safe..." and by inverse "..not doing this means you are not safe...").

The latter is a predisposition towards excellence and doing the right thing within the appropriate risk
tolerance, regardless of whether it is "safe" per se - Mike Rowe's "safety third" which recognizes risk
is park of the job, but if you strive to do things the right way because it's the right way, safety is a matter of course.

CAP's mission is not to "be safe", it is to accomplished assigned tasks in a safe manner.
Understanding the nuance of the latter is where you lose the former.

One example which has basically become a CAP meme among aircrews - insuring the towbar is removed.
It's on the list because pilots have taken off more then once with the darn thing still attached.

To use the example above -

As a "principle" the towbar is removed because the checklist says to remove it, therefore you are "safe".

As a "value" the towbar is removed because the pilot or aircrew are focused on their tasks, performing them in
a logical order, and checking each other as a matter of excellence.

The result is the same, but the impetus is different, and the impetus of a "safety culture" stretches fail beyond being "safe".
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:31:35 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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THRAWN
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Posts: 1,809

« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 03:31:01 PM »

"Most organizations where people are being paid to adhere to safety protocols already have a hard time ensuring everyone follows procedures. A volunteer organization makes it that much more difficult."

Nah. Don't follow the safety rules in a paid environment, you get third prize. Want to know what that is? You're fired.

I've been a member of more than one volunteer organization and never knew of any issues with members following safety rules. Fire departments have plenty of them. Like it's hard to hang on the back of the rig on the way to a call...

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.
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Strup
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THRAWN
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Posts: 1,809

« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2016, 03:32:27 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".

Sounds like a line from the movie "Down Periscope"



That movie isn't exactly a stunning example of safety >:D.

That movie isn't exactly a stunning example of a movie.
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Strup
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2016, 03:36:36 PM »

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.

The primary value of the average CAP safety briefing is 15 minutes to rest your eyes so you don't fall asleep on the way home,
so I guess in that vein they have merit.

For about a week last year, and based on personal conversations I had with the national safety directorate, the rhetoric was that
there would be a shift from the current climate of checkboxes, to one of analysis and discussion of mishaps to share mistakes and best practices.

I believe it was the very next round of Beacons that went back to encouraging the heat stress, distracted driving and similar time-wasting nonsense
which encompasses the majority of the briefings.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:39:41 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 931

« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2016, 03:49:09 PM »

"Most organizations where people are being paid to adhere to safety protocols already have a hard time ensuring everyone follows procedures. A volunteer organization makes it that much more difficult."

Nah. Don't follow the safety rules in a paid environment, you get third prize. Want to know what that is? You're fired.

I've been a member of more than one volunteer organization and never knew of any issues with members following safety rules. Fire departments have plenty of them. Like it's hard to hang on the back of the rig on the way to a call...

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.


As pointed out, imminent safety concerns where physical harm is apparent are usually fairly easy to maintain enforcement over.

And "you're fired" isn't always used as an immediate corrective action when it comes to enforcing safety policies. Many organizations have a safety culture that includes a sub-culture of poor management/supervision of employees or low levels of accountability for safety violations.

But what I'm getting at is, from a volunteer standpoint, a strong safety culture should include a program for reporting safety issues and obtaining feedback from the fleet to provide continual improvement of the safety program and the overall organization (unit, wing, what have you). It's very difficult to maintain those aspects because of (a) manpower and time, and (b) willingness to put forth the effort. Are there statistics as to how many units provide a quality and applicable safety briefing prior to potentially unsafe activities? Are there statistics as to how many units don't seek approval for activities of which approval is required? And what is the reason that these units don't follow these protocols which are already in place? How about unit SOPs?

Also, take a look at the safety programs at many of the squadrons. Some units provide monthly safety education that relates directly to their line of work (airport safety, safety in the field, etc). Some units go with more general societal safety topics (railroad crossings, smoke detectors, turning off the stove at home). I've seen safety briefings that remind people that they're using scissors and hot glue. I've seen the "What do we say when we see a safety hazard? 'Knock it off,' right?" I've seen "In the event that there is a real-world injury or emergency, we stop training, and everyone rallies at this location to be accounted for and await further instructions." This goes right back to your comment about safety briefings seldom being beneficial. I'm not sure if it's because a lack of training and understanding as to how safety can be more applicable or a lack of will. I don't have that answer.

As a subject matter expert in safety, I could come out with a bunch of safety SOPs and forms we could use, but it's more than just writing down on paper what the safety standards and objectives are. They have to be enforced, and they require buy-in from people. To establish a strong SMS at the squadron level would be nearly impossible to sustain.
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 474

« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 03:52:41 PM »

For about a week last year, and based on personal conversations I had with the national safety directorate, the rhetoric was that there would be a shift from the current climate of checkboxes, to one of analysis and discussion of mishaps to share mistakes and best practices.


Great idea.  It would be nice to see a fact/data based discussion of, among other things, aircraft and vehicle maintenance issues that contribute to incidents with potential (and mishaps), eDiscrepancies as it is used vs what it supposed to do, whether the flight release procedures actually reduce mishaps (and a discussion of FRO errors), etc.  From my lowly vantage point I wonder whether CAP might have a disconnect on this  analysis and information sharing thing at the National level and in many Wings between 'Operations' and 'Safety'.

SkyHornet made several good points in his post.  One issue he overlooked is how the behavior of key personnel in safety roles may be affected by personal relationships.  For example, a pilot with a bad cold gets a pass from his FRO because "he's a big boy" and presumably can judge his own ability to perform safely - which includes managing the exposure of others(all non-pilots) in the cockpit to what might or might not become an incapacitating issue and which certainly is an environment where virus sharing is highly likely.  Or a driver with an substantial congestion barely controlled by OTC histamines  drives a van load of people to and from some event.  It may a tough thing to tell a friend or fellow volunteer "you need to sit this one out" when a bunch of people are waiting to go, and "The Mission", etc. won't be accomplished.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 04:08:34 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
THRAWN
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Posts: 1,809

« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2016, 03:54:48 PM »

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.

The primary value of the average CAP safety briefing is 15 minutes to rest your eyes so you don't fall asleep on the way home,
so I guess in that vein they have merit.

For about a week last year, and based on personal conversations I had with the national safety directorate, the rhetoric was that
there would be a shift from the current climate of checkboxes, to one of analysis and discussion of mishaps to share mistakes and best practices.

I believe it was the very next round of Beacons that went back to encouraging the heat stress, distracted driving and similar time-wasting nonsense
which encompasses the majority of the briefings.

I was an SE at a couple different levels and am neck deep in SMS/SAS/RM professionally. The bold above is the way it should be done. The issue is, as I see it, there are few actual aviation safety professionals in the ranks. There are a lot of GA fliers, but that doesn't make them safety pros anymore than driving a car makes me a mechanic. The actual program is simple to administer, but it is treated as an after thought at best. Mostly, it's assigned to someone who has nothing else to do. How to fix it? First is honest training for SEs. Not just a tour through the webpage, but an actual come to Jesus meeting about what CAP/GA/aviation safety is and, importantly, is not. Treat it like any other professional specialty and recruit members for that task. Difficult, sure, but not impossible. The old methods do not work, they have been proven to be ineffective and the entirety of the aviation world has moved away from them. And that goes not just for the flying portion of the safety program. The same tired "slip and fall" briefings may check the box, but just what does that add to the value of the program?
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Strup
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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 931

« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2016, 03:55:52 PM »

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.

The primary value of the average CAP safety briefing is 15 minutes to rest your eyes so you don't fall asleep on the way home,
so I guess in that vein they have merit.

For about a week last year, and based on personal conversations I had with the national safety directorate, the rhetoric was that
there would be a shift from the current climate of checkboxes, to one of analysis and discussion of mishaps to share mistakes and best practices.

I believe it was the very next round of Beacons that went back to encouraging the heat stress, distracted driving and similar time-wasting nonsense
which encompasses the majority of the briefings.


Do you think it's because of the people writing the Beacons being out of touch, ignorant to the more applicable subjects, or that the intent of the Safety Beacon is not as understood at the squadron level?

To me, I could say we have a "safe unit" by posting "Watch where you walk, Fire Exit this way, and Wash your hands after you pee" signs everywhere. That doesn't make a safe culture. That's safety awareness, not safety education. That supports the value of watching out for all personnel, but does not strongly implement a training program for teaching about situational awareness, safety practices, and how to improve the safety system to mitigate deficiencies that might not be well identified.

Every procedure requires a control mechanism to enforce that procedure. This can be something as low-level as making people aware of the procedures and holding members to respect those procedures, while holding them accountable for not doing so. But it takes a lot of effort to sustain a safety program and grow it, whereas we don't hire off the street for the position. Unless you can bring in a new "employee" to be the next person in the Squadron Safety Department, the workload needs to be cut somewhere.

How many Safety Officers at units have another role besides SE? Show of hands.

By the way, I love that discussion about shifting from checking the boxes to actually analyzing and discussing mishaps and best practices. That's the objective a well-built safety program.
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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 931

« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2016, 03:56:45 PM »

The difference with CAP safety regs and the rest of the free world is that CAP safety rules offer very little value. The firey hoop of the monthly safety briefing seldom, if ever, offered any tangible benefit to the membership. Speaking as a FAA safety professional, have all the rules you want, but make them mean something and give value to your people.

The primary value of the average CAP safety briefing is 15 minutes to rest your eyes so you don't fall asleep on the way home,
so I guess in that vein they have merit.

For about a week last year, and based on personal conversations I had with the national safety directorate, the rhetoric was that
there would be a shift from the current climate of checkboxes, to one of analysis and discussion of mishaps to share mistakes and best practices.

I believe it was the very next round of Beacons that went back to encouraging the heat stress, distracted driving and similar time-wasting nonsense
which encompasses the majority of the briefings.

I was an SE at a couple different levels and am neck deep in SMS/SAS/RM professionally. The bold above is the way it should be done. The issue is, as I see it, there are few actual aviation safety professionals in the ranks. There are a lot of GA fliers, but that doesn't make them safety pros anymore than driving a car makes me a mechanic. The actual program is simple to administer, but it is treated as an after thought at best. Mostly, it's assigned to someone who has nothing else to do. How to fix it? First is honest training for SEs. Not just a tour through the webpage, but an actual come to Jesus meeting about what CAP/GA/aviation safety is and, importantly, is not. Treat it like any other professional specialty and recruit members for that task. Difficult, sure, but not impossible. The old methods do not work, they have been proven to be ineffective and the entirety of the aviation world has moved away from them. And that goes not just for the flying portion of the safety program. The same tired "slip and fall" briefings may check the box, but just what does that add to the value of the program?

Couldn't agree more with every word of this.

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capsafety
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,261

« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2016, 03:57:10 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".

As my employees can tell you I personally hate the term "Common Sense" when it comes to Safety. I refer to it as "Cultural Sense" when I do my training. It is actually the topic of one of my primary training programs.

"Is it Common Sense to Believe in Common Sense when it doesn't make Sense". The Fallacy of Common Sense in Safety Cultures
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 04:03:55 PM by capmandone » Logged
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 931

« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »

Being old school, we used to call it common sense...  Just sayin', you know, like "don't stick your head in that there prop".

As my employees can tell you I personally hate the term "Common Sense" when it comes to Safety. I refer to it as "Cultural Sense" when I do my training. It is actually the topic of one of my primary training programs.

"Is it Common Sense to Believe in Common Sense when it doesn't make Common Sense". The Fallacy of Common Sense in Safety Cultures

I made that exact same argument last night in an unrelated discussion about task completion. Someone said "Common sense would say they should know how to get it done." Common sense doesn't make up for a lack of education on the subject or the willingness to learn/improve.
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Live2Learn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 474

« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2016, 04:15:33 PM »

... Someone said "Common sense would say they should know how to get it done." Common sense doesn't make up for a lack of education on the subject or the willingness to learn/improve.

I'd take it a step further.  "Common Sense" can get you, me, or someone else killed.  NTSB accident reports (all modes) are full of examples.
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,620

« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2016, 04:18:58 PM »

Safety is a product of retention, not regulation. And as it happens, we suck at retention.
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The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: How do you define a Safety Culture?
 


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