An effective Safety Management System (SMS) demands a positive safety culture; yet assessment and development of a safety culture can be one of the greatest challenges.  While no easy task, safety culture measurement can be conducted through case analysis, survey analysis, and qualitative analysis with interviews, focus group discussions, artifact analysis of policies, manuals, processes, corporate values and stories of past experiences, and ethnographic observations.

 e department of transportation (DOT) safety council identified the most critical elements of a safety culture:

              (1) Leadership is clearly committed to safety.
              (2) There is open and effective communication across the organization.
              (3) Employees feel personally responsible for safety.

              (4) The organization practices continuous learning.
              (5) There is a safety-conscious work environment.
              (6) Report systems are clearly defined and non-punitive.
              (7) Decisions demonstrate that safety is prioritized over competing demands.
              (8) Mutual trust is fostered between employees and the organization.
              (9) The organization is fair and consistent in responding to safety concerns.

             (10) Training and resources are available to support safety (FAA, 2013 p. 9). 

Does Your Company Have a Safety Culture to support the 2018 Safety Management System (SMS) FAA mandate?

Aviation Safety International


Federal Aviation Administration. (2013, May 8). Safety Management System 8000.369A.  Retrieved from

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Safety Culture is the Foundation of SMS: