Ease of Access, the Next Chapter of Aviation Safety

By Timothy Wade - August 10th, 2023

Timothy Wade

Orville Wright said, “If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.” A progressive and innovative culture creates the foundation of a sustainable and proactive safety program.

The generational safety basics for flight and ground operations will always be necessary; however, modernizing your safety program is essential for success. “The safety cops” are phrases that should be left in our past. Our safety culture should now be one that is built on open communication and, most importantly, one that is easy to access, embrace, and share.

Just as the technology of our aircraft has advanced, so has the technology we carry with us each day. Our smartphones are incredible tools that safety departments must use to increase the engagement for both the employees and their safety teams. Ease of access to safety reporting can drastically improve your culture. A recent statistic from a leading large MRO showed that after incorporating electronic and simplified reporting, safety reporting increased by 235%. The increase did not represent an increase in events but rather opened the door to the reporting of a myriad of minor incidents and near misses that otherwise would not have been reported. We tend to get caught up in getting all the details on the first report, but if you simplify the reporting process and gather the excess data after, people will report more. The following is an example of a simple change that can give your safety team a technological boost.

QR codes – unfortunately, if you don’t know what a QR code is, you are already behind the curve. The great thing about a QR code is that most basic codes are free to create online and can be placed anywhere and read from any phone. For example, if you have a centralized safety site where employees can access policies and reporting, take that site’s URL, create a QR code, and then put that QR code everywhere. Once you train your teams on where the codes are placed, you now have a one-stop-shop for safety. Need the fall protection SOP? Go to the code! Need to report an injury? Go to the code! Here are a few more ways to use QR codes in your organization:

  • Access to your safety site / reporting. For example, a QR code that routes to your internal safety site that all employees have access to.
  • Access to a policy. For example, place a QR code sticker for your aircraft jacking and shoring SOP on every jackstand. Now everyone has the policy right next to the operation.
  • Access to emergency action plan.
  • Access to flight checklists.

One last note as food for thought. It may be an unpopular opinion, but if your safety reporting site requires a log in and password, you likely are not getting all the reports you could. People give up when slowed by barriers to reporting, including but not limited to the lack of anonymity and confidentiality in reporting.

The possibilities are endless when making safety more accessible to your organization. At the end of the day, the word safety should be synonymous with Service. We are here to serve, and the best way to do that is by creatively using the tools at our disposal to make your safety cultures easy to access, embrace, and share.

Timothy Wade

Timothy Wade

Director of Environmental, Health and Safety | FLEXJET

NBAA Safety Committee and FLEXJET