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Top 5 Reasons SMS Isn’t a Lot of Work

Safety Management System (SMS) – it can seem complex, but doesn’t need to be. Once you’ve got your system in place and you’re using the right tools, it should be simple to maintain. But what is a Safety Management System? First, it’s about making safety part of your organizational culture by providing tools or processes that increase awareness of potential safety issues or hazards. Then it’s about providing a system to help implement change in your organization so that observed safety issues or hazards don’t lead to something more serious. These five examples demonstrate why it can be simple.

1. SMS is as complex as you want it to be

One thing that can discourage companies from using SMS is the perception that it is complex to manage. However, that all depends on how it’s managed. Your operations’ specific steps or processes should be adapted and changed based on your size, complexity, needs, and resources. There are many ways to streamline SMS: for example, SMS shouldn’t be an excuse to generate piles of paper and multi-spreadsheet files. Also, not everyone needs a safety committee – for most operators, periodic safety meetings are just fine.

2. SMS is about ease-of-use, not just safety

It can seem redundant to document an issue, especially if it can be fixed right away. Yet keeping track of incidents can help you spot trends amidst various data points. Such recurrences can influence your operation to improve and change the way you work, leading to an easier and safer work environment. For example, if you are constantly deviating from a specific procedure or duty times for a particular flight, studying the data could assist you in figuring out how to address these deviations and encourage the team to make adaptations. This means less work and less risk for everyone moving forward.

3. Customize your SMS

Your organization is unique, which is why it’s generally a bad idea to make it fit a rigid SMS program. Many operations do not benefit from their SMS as well as they could, simply because they use tools and systems that are inflexible. This in turn can reduce engagement, participation, and enthusiasm, resulting in an ineffective SMS. Adapt your SMS program so that it works around your organization, rather than your organization working for your SMS. Discover what elements your SMS should include.

4. You determine the number of SMS forms

SMS forms need to be filled out consistently, not constantly. A lot of companies think installing a safety management system isn’t worth the hassle, because it’s all about the paperwork.  That’s too bad.  You actually don’t need to fill out an Incident/Hazard form every single day – only when something out of the ordinary occurs. Similarly, a Risk Assessment form doesn’t have to be completed for every flight, maintenance or ground event.  It’s all up to your company and the triggers you set for when these forms are needed. Most importantly: it’s about quality, not quantity.

5. Get the whole team on board for SMS

SMS is an operation-wide effort, and your SMS will only be effective if it consists of a lot of smaller contributions. By making one person solely responsible for an SMS program, you are giving them a daunting task. Everyone should participate and provide input; all the more reason why you should create a system that works with your organization. Nowadays, SMS can be managed through easy to use software and apps, such as our ARC SMS software, making it far easier to maintain and encourage participation.

Get everyone on the SMS plane today!

Want to know more about how SMS can benefit your organization? We’re happy to help you out. Contact us for more information.

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