Safety Culture


Safety according to EASA and HCAA, is more than a priority, it is the core value at the heart of the Aviation industry. Therefore, a “Healthy Safety Culture” in every aviation organization is crucial and essential, so as to accomplish high level standards of safety performance and future safety development.

Somebody could say “Safety Culture” in simple words is “The way people in an operational environment behave and perform their tasks, when no one is looking around”. Moreover, their beliefs, perceptions and values in relation to risks, regarding their assigned duties and responsibilities.

“Safety Culture” can’t be bought! It needs time, so that it becomes mature in an organization and a lifestyle for every individual employee entering the Aviation world. Furthermore, a successful climate of Safety grows a successful Culture of Safety, assuring progress and prosperity over the years.



Developing and implementing training programs, tailored and built around the competencies required by individual trainees as part of their role (knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors that contribute to individual and organizational performance). Training that will not only last but will succeed to create awareness and high-level of safety performance. Trainings encountering hazard identification, importance of the use of Checklists in everyday safety related tasks, effective implementation of safety policies and Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s). A non-toxic environment aiming at reducing “Human Error”, by taking into serious account “Human Factors” and the “12 Dirty Dozen” developed by Gordon Dupont in 1993:


  1. Lack of communication
  2. Distraction
  3. Lack of resources
  4. Stress
  5. Complacency
  6. Lack of teamwork
  7. Pressure
  8. Lack of awareness
  9. Lack of Knowledge
  10. Fatigue
  11. Lack of assertiveness
  12. Norms

Incorporating continuous and effective training programs (Competency- Based Training and Assessment CBTA, EBT etc.), as an ongoing process in every field, not only increases productivity, efficiency, enabling the change of negative behaviors, but also develops standardization and common best safety practices, ensuring the sustainability of a “Safety Culture”.


Without a “Just Culture” approach no “Safety Culture” can be achievable. A non-punitive Safety (Hazard) reporting culture is an essential process, involving the participation of all personnel in the chain of an “Open Safety Culture”, preventing potential incidents and accidents. The importance of feeling free, reporting safety issues without fear and the open-door policy regarding top management, are substantial for the prosperity of a “Healthy Safety Culture” (EU) No 376/2014.

A mature hazard reporting culture encounters an adequate number of monthly reports and statistical data analysis, through customized Safety Management System software programs and tools, to capture non-safety trends leading to bad practices and potential safety hazards. Modern reporting systems, liable Prevention and Investigation systems, leading to effective detection and investigation outcomes of incidents or accidents, focusing on the root causes and not the people, always with the enforcement of (EU) No2016/679 GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).


Effective communication from top to bottom and vice versa, using digital communication tools or any other means, ensuring that everyone is on the right direction. “Management commitment” to Safety, through efficient safety policies, is definitely a valuable ingredient, in the Safety Culture recipe. Safety Promotion Activities with the involvement and collaboration of all employees with surveys, newsletters, workshops and campaigns. Daily selection of safety data by employee opinion. Regular “Safety Meetings” and “Briefings” combining management and employees, to develop standardization and best safety practices.


A top-down approach motivating every employee as a “Safety Champion” or as a “Safety Guardian” and aiming at empowering the whole working system by making it safer, economical, environmentally and human friendly. Motivation, recognition and reward to personnel regarding any voluntarily achievement related to safety issues, should be encountered for Safety Promotion.

The well-being of every individual employee should also be a primary objective, in every operational environment, as regarding Human Factors and best Human Performance. Only when somebody is well (physically and mentally) can accomplish a high level of duty performance.

Introducing support programmes, psychological assessment of all safety related employee and random testing of psychoactive substances to ensure medical fitness of flight crew, cabin crew and other safety-sensitive personnel. Implementing strong policies on the prevention and detection of misuse of psychoactive substances. Proactive and non-punitive support programmes recognizing, assisting and supporting the personnel in order to overcome any problem which might affect their ability to safely exercise their duties or the privileges of their license. (EU) No2018/1042 & ICAO Doc 9654.


One could say that an effective and operationally customized SMS “Safety Management System” is the brain of a sustainable aviation organization, while a “Healthy Safety Culture” is the heart!

The basic components of a SMS are Safety Policy, Safety Risk Management, Safety Assurance and Safety Promotion. Monitoring the Safety Culture of an organization through setting safety targets (SPT’s) and conducting Internal safety audits by analyzing safety indicators (SPI’s), providing continuous transparency and visibility regarding the safety levels, helps upper management act in a proactive way, identifying root causes, implementing corrective actions, improving safety policies and setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) so as to create a positive climate of Safety.


Last but not least a “Safety Leadership” outlines its organizational values, is aware of the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses according to the size and type of Operation and aims at introducing both management and employees, to the world of Hazards, Risks and Human Factors.

Clear “Safety Leadership” develops a positive “Safety Culture”, making Safety a top and high priority amongst other objectives, assuring:

“No shortcuts”   “Mistakes can be made but they must not be repeated”

The message should be clear to everyone:

“Safety Comes First, no matter what!”