How and when to talk about airside safety

How and when to talk about airside safety

High safety standards and an excellent safety culture hinge on open two-way communication between management and staff. Understanding how and when conversations about workplace health and safety should take place, and how often, is crucial for aviation businesses to ensure safe working environments in notoriously hazardous circumstances.

Setting the scene for new starters

When new employees join a business, it’s an important time to be clear about company safety standards and responsibilities. During the induction process, new starters should be well-informed of all the safety measures in place and fully briefed on the procedures of what to do in the event of an incident, or if they see any unsafe practices occurring. Before they set foot airside to start work, they should be fully kitted out with all the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for their role and know the process of re-ordering equipment to ensure they’re never without the right safety protection.

Establishing the right internal processes

Conversations about safety shouldn’t finish after induction. Employees should feel continually engaged in good safety practices and empowered to raise safety concerns. They should be clear on the internal process for raising safety concerns, including knowing exactly whom to talk to and how to contact them. There should be few barriers to the easy completion of both incident and risk reporting to ensure it takes place reliably and contributes to protecting staff against hazards and accidents.

Maintaining a two-way communication flow

Safety conversations shouldn’t rely on frontline staff relaying concerns to management. To have a mature safety culture, business leaders need to involve themselves and make themselves personally aware of the risks. They should use the time they spend on the frontline to ask questions of staff in hazardous environments, such as airport ramp agents, and maintain an excellent relationship with their health and safety team. Airports are subject to procedural, logistical and technological changes, so continually assessing risks and identifying new safety hazards can engage the workforce and facilitate communication flow. And appraising staff of the latest health and safety statistics can help remind employees of the risks they face in their roles.

The role of mandatory safety reporting

In aviation, certain types of incidents must always be reported to the Civil Aviation Authority’s Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) process. The nature of airports means that unsafe practices by organisations in airside environments can often directly impact other organisations and the public, so a joined-up approach to safety is imperative. Industry-wide learnings can also be made, and insights can even be shared with other countries to ensure safer airports worldwide. Talking to staff about MOR and the role of the CAA can help encourage safety conversations to take place, whether that’s discussing report findings and how they apply to them or looking at the safety within other organisations. Looking at best practice elsewhere in the industry can facilitate meaningful discussions about airside health and safety.

The advantages of confidential reporting systems

Robust internal reporting processes and open dialogue are essential in maintaining safe airside working environments. But external, confidential reporting systems can also be effective when employees don’t feel able to raise a safety issue internally. The Confidential Human Factor Reporting Programme (CHIRP), is one such system where employees can report safety concerns confidentially. The British Safety Council also encourages confidential reporting through its cross-industry Speak Up, Stay Safe initiative.

Contego Aviation Solutions is your one-stop manufacturer, supplier and distributor of safety clothing and PPE equipment for the aviation industry and more. As part of Contego Safety Solutions, Contego Aviation Solutions is the aviation industry protective clothing and equipment supplier that can offer it all.

For help and advice, or details of the full Contego Aviation Solutions range visit our website www.contegoaviation.co.uk or contact our friendly team on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegoaviation.co.uk.

Contego Aviation Solutions is your one-stop manufacturer, supplier and distributor of safety clothing and PPE equipment for the aviation industry and more. Part of Contego Safety Solutions, Contego Aviation Solutions is the aviation industry protective clothing and equipment supplier that can offer it all.

For help and advice, or details of the full Contego Aviation Solutions range download the Catalogue now, visit our website www.contegoaviation.co.uk or contact our friendly team on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegoaviation.co.uk.