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Safety Promotion

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Category: Safety Management Safety Management
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Means, processes and procedures that ensure that personnel are trained and competent to perform their safety management duties and allow for communication of safety issues among operational personnel and with the organisation’s management.


Safety promotion plays a supporting, yet important, role in achieving effective control of safety risks during service delivery. (ICAO Doc 9859 - Safety Management Manual)


Safety promotion is a major component of the Safety Management System (SMS) and together with the organisation’s Safety Policy and Safety Objectives is an important enabler for continuous safety improvement achieved mainly through the two “operational components” of the SMS: risk management and safety assurance. Safety risk management, safety assurance and safety promotion provide the means for an organisation to control the safety risks and maintain the right balance between production and protection.

Safety promotion sets the tone that predisposes both individual and organisational behaviour and fills in the blank spaces in the organization’s policies, procedures and processes, providing a sense of purpose to safety efforts. Through safety promotion an organisation adopts a culture that goes beyond merely avoiding accidents or reducing the number of incidents, although these are likely to be the most apparent measures of success. It is more to do the right thing at the right time in response to normal and emergency situations.

Safety Promotion supports safety culture communication, dissemination of lessons learned and enables the continuous improvement process. The Safety Promotion requirements apply not only to aviation service provider organisations but also to States. In fact safety promotion is identified as one of the four components of the State Safety Programme (SSP). The safety promotion process should be applied at national, regional and global level and includes all efforts to modify structures, environment, attitudes and behaviours aimed at improving safety.

According to ICAO, SMS framework and Safety Promotion has two elements, notably:

  • training and education, and
  • safety communication.

The EUROCONTROL's ESARR 3 by setting the SMS requirements for ATM service providers defines a slightly different scope of safety promotion addressing:

Training and Education

Aviation service providers should develop and maintain a safety training programme that ensures that personnel are trained and competent to perform their SMS duties. Training programmes should be adapted to fit the needs and complexity of the organisation. The scope of the safety training shall be appropriate to each individual’s involvement in the SMS. The provision of appropriate training to all staff, regardless of their level in the organisation, is an indication of management’s commitment to an effective SMS. The quality and effectiveness of training have a significant influence on the attitude and actual performance (‘the professionalism’) the employees will subsequently demonstrate in their everyday work.

According to ICAO Doc 9859 - Safety Management Manual, safety training and education should consist of the following:

  • a documented process to identify training requirements;
  • a validation process that measures the effectiveness of training;
  • initial (general safety) job-specific training;
  • indoctrination/initial training incorporating SMS, including Human Factors and organisational factors; and
  • recurrent safety training.

S. Promotion, Training and Education.JPG

Obviously, safety promotion, as defined by ICAO, includes competency related requirements - personnel should be trained and competent to perform their safety management duties and discharge adequately the safety responsibilities arising out of the nature of their job. Properly trained employees have a greater chance of identifying shortcomings and applying effective corrective actions thus achieving better control of risks.

In difference to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), EUROCONTROL ESARR 3 places the competency related requirements in the safety achievement domain of the SMS. The requirements’ scope is wider - the ATM service providers “shall ensure that staff are adequately trained, motivated and competent for the job they are required to do, in addition to being properly licensed if so required”.

Safety Communication

Aviation service providers should develop and maintain formal means for safety communication that enable a continuous safety improvement loop and ensure that all personnel are fully aware of the SMS.

According to ICAO Doc 9859 - Safety Management Manual, safety communication should aim to:

  • ensure that all staff are fully aware of the SMS;
  • convey safety-critical information;
  • explain why particular actions are taken;
  • explain why safety procedures are introduced or changed; and
  • convey “nice-to-know” information.

Safety communication could take various forms. The internal (to the organisation) means of safety communication include, but are not limited to:

  • safety bulletins
  • safety notices
  • newsletters
  • briefings
  • seminars and workshops
  • refresher training
  • intranet.

Safety Communication also encompasses the distribution of SMS manual and safety procedures within the organisation.

Examples of external means of safety communications are:

  • meetings, workshops and networking
  • websites, online fora and e-mail distribution lists
  • magazines and other publications.

Safety communication is an important enabler for improved safety performance. Safety lesson dissemination is a vital element of safety communication because lessons learned from past experiences implemented within the organisation reduce the chances of accident and incident recurrence and thus improve safety. Many factors, such as time, distance, environment and a sense of complacency often result, unfortunately, in lessons being either not learnt or lost. Lesson dissemination could be considered as an indirect form of safety training.

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Portal:Safety Management