Aircraft Service International Group’s corporate parent BBA Aviation plc rolled out its Zero Injury Philosophy + Process campaign in 2009 to all its global aviation units to create, as the name suggests, a safety culture that would communicate the company’s commitment to health and safety for all its workers.
“Safety compliance and performance in aviation has always been an expectation and a real focus,” explains D. Bradley Keith, ASIG’s director of health, safety, environmental and training. “That’s a mandate driven by regulations and our customers’ expectations. But under ZIPP, safety became more of an orchestrated, company-wide common goal with well-defined programs designed to ensure the safety and security of all employees.”
Each of ASIG’s facilities, for example, now uses the same measurement metrics and global reporting system to record all accidents and incidents to track performance. The reporting system enables continuous monitoring and analysis of practices in real time. In his capacity, Keith gets accident and incident reports literally within an hour after the episode was initially documented.
Keith also walked us through an array of what he termed “safety-enabling systems.” ASIG, for example, launched its first module of computer-based training covering its fueling program in 2008 and has since used the CBT model to provide training needed in both job-specific skills, such as pushback operations, along with standard company-wide modules covering health and safety policy compliance.
“CBT reduces the seat time for classroom training,” Keith adds, “and we can put that time to better use through on-the-job training. That’s where people really learn the best – by doing.”
Keith, by the way, comes to the ASIG safety job with an interesting take on the subject. A geologist by education, he held various positions within regulatory agencies associated with health and safety matters before joining the aviation industry. “I think that experience makes me a good safety ambassador since I know that many safety regulations are implemented for good reasons,” he adds.
However, there is one element of the ZIPP campaign that ASIG with its ground handling, fueling and airport service sites in 70 cities throughout North America, Central America, Europe and Asia can claim as one of its own valuable additions. In fact, the ASIG program won a BBA Aviation Leadership Award for Health and Safety last year.
During 2010 ASIG piloted a supplementary program at several of its locations. The program’s original purpose was two-fold:
- Assist the company to identify a method that would allow it to analyze deviations from standard ramp procedures.
- Provide immediate feedback to ramp employees.
Basically, a ramp manager was to spend a part of the day observing ramp workers going about their crucial chores. What was going right? What was going wrong? Afterward, the managers could offer on-the-spot feedback for a job well done or a job that could use improvement.
Using lessons learned from the initial testing, ASIG later merged the strengths of both programs to create a single, user-friendly tool called SAFE – Safety Audit Feedback Engine. After further testing to prove its effectiveness, the SAFE program became a part of ASIG’s operations in 2011.
Currently, SAFE combines a set of standardized business specific audit forms with the on-the-spot coaching and feedback element of ASIG’s original observation program. Feedback is an essential part of the program – so much so that ASIG developed videos to help managers first observe and then provide the right kind of feedback.
Keith shared a few of these videos with us. In addition, we also received a copy of an “Into-Plane Fueling Safety Audit” form complete with 38 items managers would make note of as they watched a refueler in action on the ramp.
During the 2-minute-42-second clip, we counted 25 individual movements the refueler made. From our untrained perspective, the refueler looked as if he’d covered all his bases correctly. Or did he?