For any system safety effort to succeed there must be a commitment on the part of management. There must be mutual confidence between program managers and system safety management. Program managers need to have confidence that safety decisions are made with professional competence. System safety management and engineering must know that their actions will receive full program management attention and support. Safety personnel need to have a clear understanding of the system safety task along with the authority and resources to accomplish the task. Decision-makers need to be fully aware of the risk they are taking when they make their decisions. They have to manage program safety risk. For effective safety risk management, program managers should:
One of the fundamental principles of system safety is the Safety Order of Precedence in eliminating, controlling or mitigating a hazard. The Safety Order of Precedence is shown in Table 3-7. It will be referred to several times throughout the remaining chapters of this handbook.
|Design for minimum risk.||1||Design to eliminate risks. If the identified risk cannot be eliminated, reduce it to an acceptable level through design selection.|
|Incorporate safety devices.||2||If identified risks cannot be eliminated through design selection, reduce the risk via the use of fixed, automatic, or other safety design features or devices. Provisions shall be made for periodic functional checks of safety devices.|
|Provide warning devices.||3||When neither design nor safety devices can effectively eliminate identified risks or adequately reduce risk, devices shall be used to detect the condition and to produce an adequate warning signal. Warning signals and their application shall be designed to minimize the likelihood of inappropriate human reaction and response. Warning signs and placards shall be provided to alert operational and support personnel of such risks as exposure to high voltage and heavy objects.|
|Develop procedures and training.||4||Where it is impractical to eliminate risks through design selection or specific safety and warning devices, procedures and training are used. However, concurrence of authority is usually required when procedures and training are applied to reduce risks of catastrophic, hazardous, major, or critical severity.|
Safety management must be based on the behavior of people and the organizational culture. Everyone has a responsibility for safety and should participate in safety management efforts. Modern organization safety strategy has progressed from “safety by compliance” to more of an appropriate concept of “prevention by planning”. Reliance on compliance could translate to after-the-fact hazard detection, which does not identify organizational errors, that are often times, the contributors to accidents.
Modern safety management, i.e.--“system safety management”-- adopts techniques of system theory, statistical analysis, behavioral sciences and the continuous improvement concept. Two elements critical to this modern approach are a good organizational safety culture and people involvement. The establishment of system safety working groups, analysis teams, and product teams accomplishes a positive cultural involvement when there are consensus efforts to conduct hazard analysis and manage system safety programs.
Real-time safety analysis is conducted when operational personnel are involved in the identification of hazards and risks, which is the key to behavioral-based safety. The concept consists of a “train-the-trainer” format. A selected safety team is provided the necessary tools and is taught how to:
The behavioral-based safety process allows an organization to create and maintain a positive safety culture that continually reinforces safe behaviors over unsafe behaviors. This will ultimately result in a reduction of risk.
Source: FAA Office of System Safety
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