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Sun, Oct 08, 2017

Baldwin Expands Safety With New Threat Assessment Tool

Enhanced Assessments Apply To All Phases Of Flight, Focus On Human Factors

Baldwin Safety & Compliance has broadened its Safety Management System (SMS) again with the addition of a comprehensive Threat Assessment tool designed to focus on all phases of their client’s flight activities.   

“The industry has adopted and FAA has regulated, in some cases, traditional risk assessments that are very specific and essentially amount to identifying points of risk that occur within a certain range prior to the flight,” explained Don Baldwin, founder and President of Baldwin Safety & Compliance.  “As our team looked at the way risk is considered, we saw a lot of holes and gaps in that basic concept.  For instance, typical risk assessments tend to focus on the ‘technical’ side of flight operations—things like pilot qualifications, specific weather, and aircraft systems and performance.  But, over 75% of reported accidents deal with human factors as a significant contributing cause, whereas less than 25% fit into the technical category.  We then determined that much of the effort designed to identify and mitigate risk was being focused in the wrong place and not necessarily at the right time.”

“Usually, risk assessments are limited to pre-flight - what we think might happen - rather than taking into consideration what actually happens during a flight and how it affects the pilots and crew members involved.  So, we have created what we call our Flight ‘Threat’ Assessment (FTA) tool, which is predominantly focused on human factors.  It is designed to provide greater exposure to the full cycle of activities that are part of an operation.  We collect real data that captures actual occurrences - such as a bird strike on final or pilot fatigue.  Our Threat Assessment model looks at pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight data and compiles information based on what really happened during a flight, not just what was anticipated before takeoff.  Real data collected during and after an actual flight event has tremendous value. Once we collect it, we can expand it into a much more useful and complete safety report,” he continued.

Baldwin has incorporated a debriefing into all of its SMS risk protocols, making data and lessons learned available to all its clients through mobile devices via its proprietary cloud-based program.  “We estimate that more than 80% of the users of our Safety Management Systems can compile, review and share information using their cell phones.  That kind of readily accessible tool encourages more crew members and staff to submit information.  It’s easy and provides quick and broad access to an interactive tool that makes pre-flight risk identification or threat assessment even more effective.  Operators can take advantage of immediate feedback and information, collected in real time, that allows them to see where others have had issues or experienced threats that they might not have anticipated without this tool,” Baldwin said.

“When you attend safety workshops or safety stand-downs, everyone is talking about threats. Risk assessments have done a great job of focusing on pre-flight possibilities. But, we‘re at a point it’s even more valuable and pertinent to focus on risks that matter, that occur in real time, that are human factors related.  We’re taking advantage of the opportunity to capture and understand risk by looking at the complete, full-circle workflow – pre, post and in-flight occurrences,” he said.  

“Our clients have been requesting a more effective tool and, based on their feedback, we’ve been able to develop this next generation Threat Assessment.  We are applying it to our maintenance and rotary wing products as well, at no additional cost to our clients as part of the value package we already deliver to them,” he concluded.

(Source: Baldwin Safety & Compliance news release)



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