Impeccable safety record, or perfect safety record?

May 20, 2011

Some companies tout their safety record by using phrases such as “impeccable safety record” but what does this really mean?  Unless the safety record is perfect, not impeccable, I have concerns about the operator’s emphasis on safety.  Safety has become such a catch phrase in our industry that everyone claims they emphasize safety.  But who really does embrace safety as a cornerstone of their operations?

To me, safety is a culture and state of mind that is ingrained in every employee including management.  A pilot putting the safety of the flight above his or her own knowledge that “”we can make it” is just the start.  A thorough, analytical look at the conditions for the flight being planned, along with a “what if” analysis, is a true risk assessment.  Mitigation, which includes eliminating the risks as well as coming up with back up plans, is an important part of the flight planning process for the safety-oriented flight department.
So, the next time you hear about an “impeccable safety record”, ask what this really means.  You might be surprised to learn that an impeccable safety record can include runway overruns and other incidents.


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