Our Safety Culture
Our mission to provide the best services to our customers
Our Safety Strategy
At SAS we believe in doing things the right way, the first time and every time. Our mission is to provide excellent, dependable helicopter and aviation services in our specialist markets, so that we are the first-choice partner of the customer and communities we are proud to serve. A key element in achieving our mission is leading on safety. Our Safety Strategy is a medium to long-term plan which aims to guide us in achieving this.
Our goal is to ensure a positive culture of safe behaviours and safety leadership across the business.
We promote an open reporting culture, ensuring that every individual understands the value that their reports bring to helping us achieve safe operations. Our systems provide data insights, feedback, and shared learnings.
Training and development opportunities develop competencies and help our people to grow. Health and safety education inspires and empowers people to work safely – or not at all. This includes an emphasis on operational as well as personnel safety, and both physical and mental health.
We seek feedback – both positive and negative – and listen openly and take action. An environment to enable collaboration and open discussion is nurtured. Clear, consistent communications utilising a range of channels ensures we reach all stakeholders.
The right behaviours, positive actions and best practice are be acknowledged and applauded, driving a focus on the positive not the negative.
We aspire to be industry leaders in safety and will never tire of striving to be better and raise our standards. We aim to meet and go beyond regulatory compliance to ensure safety management is embedded throughout everything we do.
Our actions and decisions are based on risk and informed by effective management systems which allow us to have confidence in the decisions we make. Our decisions consider human factors and how these may affect the risk.
Our management systems facilitate safe and compliant operations, as well as driving productivity and efficiency. They are consistently adhered to and everyone is encouraged to propose areas where system could further be improved.
We collaborate with our Charity partners and key members of our supply chain to drive a mutual focus and understanding on risk management and support safe operations.
At the heart of our approach is a focus on achieving excellent, not just avoiding errors.
Our people are central to SAS’ success and we provide a positive working environment which supports the wellbeing of everyone. Great strides have been taken to implement and communicate people led policies and support programmes to the different areas of our business and this continues to develop.
We work to enhance the skills and capabilities of our people to preserve, protect and promote their health and wellbeing so they can be ‘the best they can be’. An enhanced HSE management programme is ensuring greater focus on protecting and monitoring physical and mental health.
We strive to protect the environment in which we work and be a sustainable business, minimising the impact of our operations on the local and global environment, people, and communities.
Our Safety Policy
At Specialist Aviation Services, we will always do our best for our customers and adhere to the greatest safety standards. To enable us to achieve our medium and long-term goals, as we have set out in our safety strategy, we have put together our 8-point safety policy.
At SAS, safety is within our DNA. As a world class aviation business, it is essential we embed our safety culture principles and values throughout our company and especially throughout the operational areas. SAS will exceed legislative and regulatory requirements, aspiring to be the sector leader by building on industry and business best practice. As an organisation we understand that the highest safety standards will lead to an efficient, effective, and ultimately financially successful company.
We are open, transparent, confidential, and fair. We constantly look for new ways to learn. All SAS team members, 3rd parties, partners and customers are encouraged to report events which could have, or had, an impact on safe operations. We strive to be proactive with our reporting and shall never wait until something has happened before we act. No one shall walk past or ignore something they think is unsafe. There is an obligation for anyone involved in the operation to stop unsafe activity and take time to review the situation if there is a doubt with regards to achieving a task safely. We always support people who have taken this decision.
There is no fear of reporting and confidentiality shall always be respected. We are always willing to learn and no one should be afraid to discuss errors or mistakes. We use feedback from safety reports to help everyone learn.
The SAS just culture is essential for our success as a business. Honest, timely and open reporting of events will always be encouraged. Safety events are opportunities to learn, and no punitive action will be taken against those who openly report errors or mistakes when they occur. The investigation process shall be transparent and protect confidentiality. SAS team members are held accountable for their actions; therefore, deliberately malicious, or reckless behaviour shall not be tolerated.
The success of SAS is grounded in its people, and therefore it is essential that we understand, manage and support our people in our operations and ensure that human error risks are mitigated. At SAS we are aware of how our performance may be affected by human factors and take steps to manage this and ensure resilience. Management of human factors is embedded across all areas of the business and in doing so supports our safety performance.
SAS has a culture of questioning and learning. At SAS we continually improve by challenging everything we do every single day. The open and supportive culture allows challenge to move through all levels of the business with the Leadership Team committed to listening, understanding and taking action. We shall provide feedback and regular training opportunities for the SAS team, our partners, and customers to improve safety standards, foster collaborative safety cultures and ensure continuous improvement of safety standards.
SAS employees know their accountabilities and responsibilities within the SAS Safety Management System. We work with our 3rd party providers, partners, and customers to ensure they understand their responsibilities for safety and the part they play in the continuous improvement of our aviation operation. The Leadership Team understand their responsibility for safety at SAS. This means there are appropriate numbers of suitably qualified and experienced people available with access to the correct equipment to always conduct safe operations.
SAS use the Safety Review Board, Safety Action Groups, and the Safety Management System to assure safety progress and regularly communicate safety performance across the organisation.
Everyone at SAS shall actively demonstrate the principles of this safety policy, leading by example and promoting safety in everything we do.
A just culture is an essential element of our safety management system and ensures that SAS is a great place to work. A just culture ensures an atmosphere of trust in which people are encouraged, and rewarded, for providing essential safety-related information, but in which they are also clear about where the line is drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
At SAS we learn from accidents and incidents through safety investigation and take appropriate action to prevent the repetition of such events. In addition, we remind out people that it is important that even apparently minor occurrences are reported, to prevent catalysts for major accidents.
Safety analysis and investigation is a necessary and effective means of improving safety, by learning the appropriate lessons from safety occurrences and adopting preventative actions. We therefore encourage an environment where occurrences are reported, and we have ensured the necessary processes are in place for investigation and for development and implementation of preventative actions.
We also look back at each year to choose an annual Safety Champion. For 2020, the quality of reports meant that there was stiff competition, but the accolade went to Simon Shwenn-Poole, B2 Licensed Avionics Engineer, for his report on how we could improve the management of GPUs. The report was a great example of proactive reporting, identifying an opportunity for improvement which would improve flight safety and reduce additional maintenance requirements, as well as improve operational performance. The report was well written, giving thorough background information and reasoning for the recommendations. The team selecting the winner felt that given the proactive nature and the effort that had been put in to provide such a detailed report, it was a deserved winner for the “best of the best.”
Our people are central to SAS, as is the safety of our operations, so recognising safety achievements is really important to us. Each month we nominate the best safety reports and recognise the reporters as our safety culture champions.
This is to recognise and highlight people who really demonstrate our safety culture values and work to ensure we are safe and compliant every day. We look out for good practice across the business, people making the right and safe decision, and having conversations about how to manage risk. These provide great learnings to share across the company.
A winner is selected from a short list of nominations and a certificate of recognition is provided to the winner, recognising the contribution made to SAS’ safety culture and safe operations.
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