Gone are the days when safety was an individual, or department representative who came around to make sure everyone was doing their job to “industry standard”; after all, an industry standard is merely a recommended practice and not a regulation that HAS to be followed. Industry standards are indeed just voluntary agreements in the private sector that establish requirements for products, practices, or operations in a given field.
Standards are written by manufacturers and users, government officials, experts, academics, consultants, or anyone with knowledge of the product, process or service along with a willingness to devote time and energy to their development. Those individuals working on the development of these standards must also have an understanding of how to establish common performance characteristics and guidelines that work to keep people and property safe.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Nothing happens, Til’ something happens.” For example, should an incident or accident occur, and if a lawsuit ensues, the industry standard is typically utilized to establish negligence, or failure to perform an activity safely. If it is your company’s acceptance of individuals to operate at a level that is lower than the industry standard, you and the company are exposing yourselves to a plaintiff being able to say that you and the company have failed to meet the applicable standard and should be found liable.
We work with our customers everyday to utilize specific industry standards as a foundation to develop Company Policy and Procedure Manuals, which when followed create a measurable safety culture.
by Walter Chartrand – Aviation Auditor