What Are Safety Objectives in Aviation Safety Programs?

Safety objectives in aviation SMS programs are the criteria risk management programs use to fulfill safety goals, and define key performance indicators. Safety objectives are how SMS programs meet specific performance benchmarks.

Creating safety objectives is one of the most important tasks safety managers will fulfill. The process of creating safety objectives demonstrates their role and function in a safety management system:

  1. Create a list of safety goals;
  2. For each safety goal, several objectives are created that help reach that goal;
  3. For each objective, an appropriate key performance indicator will be used to measure performance of that objective; and
  4. Periodically - usually on an annual basis - safety objectives will be updated.
What are Safety Objectives in Aviation Safety Programs?

As safety objectives are reached, they will need to be changed out to further along continuous improvement towards their parent goals. If safety objectives cannot be reached, they will need to be re-evaluated. The most important rules for creating safety objectives are that they are:

  • Specific;
  • Measurable; and
  • Relevant.

Some examples of safety objectives for a parent safety goal of "Develop a hazard reporting culture" are:

  • Increase hazard reporting 10% over previous year;
  • Reduce average day for hazard reporting for new employees to less than 14 days;
  • Train at least 95% of employees on hazard identification; and
  • Reduce distribution of high risk issues by 10%.

Once these safety goals are established, you can link them to a corresponding key performance indicator to track performance.