Data from the Safety Management System

Across all high-risk industries, the systematic management of safety is a key feature of organisational efforts to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic events. Accordingly, the majority of organisations in high-risk industries have a safety management system (SMS) that sets out a series of organisational processes for the identification of hazards, mitigation of risk, measurement of performance, investigation of incidents and on-going continuous improvement.

One of the easiest ways of ensuring that a non-technical skills training program addresses an organisation’s needs is to use the SMS as a source of data for training needs analysis and also a source of data for evaluating the effectiveness of non-technical skills training programs.

In the last decade or so, different sources of data have been developed as parts of an organisation’s SMS. Of these, the process of ‘normal operations monitoring’ has provided some significant benefits, enabling an organisation to gain an understanding of what really happens during normal everyday work and how well the organisation is supporting its operators through procedures, equipment, and training. Originally developed by the University of Texas as Line Operations Safety Audits (LOSA) for use in commercial aviation,14,15 the methodology has been adapted for use in a range of other industries.16 The evaluation of performance across the domains of non-technical skills has from the very outset been a focus of normal operations monitoring. To this end, it has become a very important component of training needs analysis for non-technical skills programs in high-risk industries. Table 6.1 provides an overview of the 10 defining characteristics of normal operations monitoring.

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