Safety Risk Management Process
Safety is considered to be a dynamic feature of the aviation system because most of its operations are conducted using manpower which is always deemed to commit a mistake. Safety therefore remains the ultimate objective of the aviation system. Risk on the other hand is considered to be serious incidents or aircraft accidents that are normally associated with aviation system. The word management in this context means containing to its limited level. This simply means ensuring that the likelihood of aircraft accidents occurring is reduced to its lowest end.
Before looking at the safety risk management I would like to define safety risk as a special element of a risk management process. Safety risk is the project likelihood of outcome from an existing risky situation. Accident is always the most anticipated outcome of any risk. However, there are always exact outcomes of an hazard that are considered intermediate consequences.
Safety risk probability is another element of safety risk which involves determining the frequency that the safety outcome might occur. It is normally pegged on the past events that had similar outcomes. the likelihood is normally divided into five categories including; frequent which refers to an event that has occurred frequently, occasional which refers to an event that has occurred infrequently, remote which refers to an event that has occurred rarely, improbable which refers to an event that is not known to have occurred and finally the extremely improbable which refers to an event that is inconceivable that it will ever occur.
Safety risk severity refers to the extent of harm that might reasonably occur as an outcome of the hazard that has been identified. The safety risk severity is normally based on damage whereby the likely extent of property, equipment or aircraft damage is assessed. It can also be based on fatalities which assess the number of lives lost.
Safety risk tolerability is divided into five categories; catastrophic which is normally associated with multiple deaths incurred and equipments destroyed. The next category is hazardous which is associated with major equipment damage, a large reduction in safety margins or physical distress and serious incident. Major risk which is associated with serious accidents, injury to persons and reduction in safety margins. The other category is minor which is associated with minor accidents, nuisance, use of emergency procedures and operating limitations. The last category is negligible which is associated with few consequences.
Safety risk management is normally considered to be a major component of safety management process by both service/product providers and the state. Under any circumstances risks are assessed, they normally fall under tolerable, intolerable or acceptable categories. However, these categories are normally subject to changes since risks that have been considered intolerable can sometimes be considered acceptable. The magnitude of the safety risk is normally considered in determining the urgency of the mitigation process. A potential hazard that poses a threat to the safety is normally deemed to be equipped with immediate mitigation.
In case an organization implements appropriate mitigation strategies to the safety risks that had earlier been assessed to be in the tolerable regions, they can then be considered to be acceptable following the mitigation process. The same rule applies to a safety risk that had been initially assessed to be in the intolerable region and is then mitigated in the appropriate time; it can be subsequently moved into the tolerable region provided that appropriate mitigation processes are put in place to control such a safety risk. Both cases may require a supplementary cost-benefit analysis to be performed. Safety risks that had been initially been assessed and deemed to fall under the acceptable region are considered to remain in the acceptable region without any mitigation process necessarily being undertaken.
Risk management documentation/worksheet
Each and every mitigation exercise taken against any safety risk should be documented appropriately. It is normally done on a table for risk mitigation involving systems or operations that are not complex. Customized risk mitigation software can be used in documentation process of complex systems. Appropriate level of management should then be consulted to approve the completed risk mitigation documents.
High risk is considered to fall under the risk index range of 5A,5B, 5C, 4A, 4B, and 3A and the following actions are recommended whenever it occurs. Cease or cut back operation promptly if appropriate. Priority risk mitigation should be performed to ensure that enhanced preventive controls are established that risk index is brought down to a lower or moderate range.
Moderate risk is considered to fall under the risk index of 5D, 5E, 4C, 4D, 4E, 3D, 3C, 3B, 2A, 2B, 2C and 1A and the following actions are recommended whenever it occurs. Schedule performance of a safety assessment is conducted to ensure that the risk index is brought down to low range if possible.
Low risk is considered to fall under the risk index of 3E, 2D, 2E, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E and the following action is recommended whenever it occurs. No further risk mitigation process is recommended and the safety risk is acceptable as it is.
Risk management and human factors
For any risk management system to be effective, a specific analysis process should be considered as its component since its main targets include both organizational and human factors. Recommended mitigation actions comprising of human elements are useful in ensuring that the current defenses have considered human factors in their actions. The mitigation actions may also need supplementary analysis of human factors to be done in order to support that certain mitigation action. The human factor analysis helps in understanding of the effect of human mistake concerning the situation and finally leads in developing more effective and comprehensive mitigation exercises. The relationship between errors and performance is defined by the human error model, which builds up the basis of the process of analysis and also helps in categorizing errors in order to easily identify and understand the main hazards. When this theory is understood the main-cause analysis is adequately completed. The decisions and actions of particular individuals when viewed out of the main context may look like random events. The behavior of human beings ends up making a pattern and can be understood and analyzed properly hence it is not grouped as random event.