Advancing safety in organisations: application via the Luton Safety stack

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Smeltink, J.
Stroeve, S.
Kirwan, B.
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MATEC Web of Conferences
Controlling and improving safety in organisations is achieved using a Safety Management System (SMS). Notwithstanding the variety of components considered in SMS standards, including human factors and safety culture, safety management systems are sometimes observed by those at the ‘sharp end’ as being bureaucratic, distinct from actual operations, and being too focused on the prevention of deviations from procedures, rather than on the effective support of safety in the real operational context. The soft parts of advancing safety in organisations, such as the multitude of interrelations and the informal aspects in an organisation that influence safety, are only considered to a limited extent in traditional safety management systems. The research in Future Sky Safety Project 5 (FSS P5) focused on improving these human-related, informal organisational aspects. Since every organisation is unique, in the operations it conducts, its history, and its organisational culture, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all standard for advancing safety in organisations. Rather, this needs to be based on the organisation at hand, leading to tailored solutions. This has been applied to a safety culture assessment and enhancement approach applied for six key organisations at London Luton Airport, and the approach has become known as the Luton Safety Stack. The six organisations decided to share the detailed results of their individual safety culture assessments. They formed a group that holds quarterly meetings, which always include a workshop element. From this approach, the organisations were stimulated to develop harmonised procedures for all ground-handling operators at Luton, and for each operation, creating a simple one-page procedure with diagrams, to keep it simple and safe. The Luton Safety Stack shows that when organisations share a place, such as at an airport, they need the opportunity to meet to discuss both potential safety threats, and opportunities to advance safety, because even through organisations are interdependent, safety issues in one organisation often have implications for others.
MATEC Web of Conferences 273, 01002 (2019) - International Cross-industry Safety Conference (ICSC) - European STAMP Workshop & Conference (ESWC) (ICSC-ESWC 2018)