NATA Safety 1st, from time to time, will have guest bloggers from our Safety 1st committee or the industry at large present here at The Safety Net. We are please to present our first guest blogger, Bill Miller, the current chairperson of the NATA Safety 1st Committee and Area Director for Signature Flight Support.
From the intellectual perspective, culture is defined as “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, beliefs, institutions and all other products of human work and thought characteristics of a community or population.” The culture of a group of people, a business, or your own home and family evolve over a period of time. It’s a bit history, hand-me-down experiences, outside influences and new minds and ideas. Pretty heady stuff until you begin to see the effects of shared experiences and group learning. One might ask where the heck is the author going with this…it’s about our, better yet YOUR safety culture at YOUR location. Our neighbors in the United Kingdom have defined safety culture as; “The product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management.”
Each member of a team of service professionals bring their own behavior patterns and beliefs to their work and subsequently affect the culture of the group. In our environment it can change as people come and go, both employees and customers. Our ultimate goal is to weave that safety culture into the fabric of our operation. In the grand scheme of things, the safety culture we want to build places value on making safety understood and accepted as job one. From a leadership perspective it involves sharing information, identifying and communicating risk and most importantly, focusing on human factors. Over the last few years we have all read and learned much about the role human factors play in aviation safety. You may have experienced a situation in which an employee or co-worker who was experienced, had received training and demonstrated proficiency with a task, made a poor decision or deviated from established procedure which resulted in undesirable or unexpected results.
Human error is inevitable and we all can make a mistake. The secret, or maybe challenge is the better term, is how we influence each other to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the way a professional does their job. Once that seed takes root it becomes second nature to the group or “the way we do things around here.”
By Bill Miller – Chairmen, NATA Safety 1st Committee
Signature Flight Support
Thanks for reading!