Aviation SMS Hazard Identification

SMS #1 Element of Safety Risk Management

An airline or airport  SMS program must ensure that the safety risks encountered in aviation activities are controlled in order to achieve their safety performance targets. Safety risk management includes hazard identification, safety risk assessment and the implementation of appropriate control and recovery measures.

  • Airlines and airports need to develop and maintain a formal process to ensure that hazards associated with their aviation products or services are identified.
  • Hazard identification shall be based on a combination of reactive, proactive and predictive methods of safety data collection.

Compliance is indicated when:

  • The organization has a reporting system to captures errors, hazards and near misses that is simple to use and accessible to all personnel;
  • The organization has proactively identified all the major hazards and assessed the risks related to its current activities;
  • The safety reporting system provides feedback to the reporter of any actions taken (or not taken) and, where appropriate, to the rest of the organization;
  • Safety investigations are carried out to identify underlying causes and potential hazards for existing and future operations;
  • Safety reports are acted on in a timely manner;
  • Hazard identification is an ongoing process and involves all key personnel and appropriate stakeholders;
  • Personnel responsible for investigating reports are trained in investigation techniques;
  • Investigations establish causal/contributing factors (why it happened, not just what happened);
  • Personnel express confidence and trust in the organization's reporting policy and process;
  • The hazards identified are documented and kept available for future reference; and
  • The organization uses the results of investigation of incidents and accidents as a source for hazard identification in the system

This element is satisfied when aviation safety hazards are being identified and reported throughout the organization. Hazards are captured in a hazard register and assessed in a systematic and timely manner..

SMS Pro modules used to support this requirement

Issue Reporting (and Offline Reporting)

Public Issue Reporting (for contractors and customers)

Email Hazard Reporting (for contractors, customers and others)

Proactive Hazard Analysis Tool (PHAT)

Hazard / Risk Register

Issue Manager (helps identify hazards)

Management of Change (helps identify new hazards)

Safety Newsletters (communicates hazards throughout airline or airport)

Risk Analysis Charts (to look for trends and gain useful management information)

KPI Trend Monitoring

Risk Impact Trending Charts

Predictive Analysis Tool

Best Practices

  • There is an active reporting system indicated by monthly reporting levels of approximately one report for every ten employees;
  • Reported issues include the reporter’s own errors and events that the reporter would not normally report (events where nobody was watching);
  • The reporting system empowers personnel to propose preventative and corrective actions;
  • There is evidence that the reporting system is actively used throughout the entire organization (in each department and in each location);
  • The reporting system is available to contracted organizations and customers to make reports; and
  • There is a process in place to analyze reports and hazard logs to look for trends and gain usable management information.