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What is the role of a Safety Manager in Aviation?

Updated: May 23, 2023

What is the role of a Safety Manager in your helicopter or aviation company?

Now that you have implemented, or are busy implementing a SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS) in your company, you might find yourself asking what a SAFETY MANAGER is and what their role will be?

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The Safety Manager should be a Senior Management appointment in the organisations in order to provide the necessary degree of authority when dealing with safety matters and should report directly to the Accountable Manager of the organisation.

The Safety Manager should possess:

  • operational management experience and have a technical background sufficient to understand the systems that support the organisation

  • people skills;

  • analytical and problem solving skills

  • project management skills

  • oral and written communication skills.

It is important to note that accountability for the SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS) lies with the Accountable Manager not the Safety Manager.

The Safety Manager is responsible for and is the focal point for the development, administration and maintenance of an effective SMS.

The Safety Manager should carry out at least the following functions:

  • manage the SMS implementation plan on behalf of the Accountable Manager

  • facilitate the risk management process that should include hazard identification, risk assessment and risk mitigation.

  • monitor any corrective action required in order to ensure accomplishment

  • provide periodic reports on safety performance

  • maintain safety documentation

  • plan and organise staff safety training

  • provide independent advice on safety matters

  • advise Senior Managers on safety matters

  • assist Line Managers

  • oversee hazard identification systems

  • be involved in occurrence/accident investigations.

Your Safety Manager has a very important role in your company, make sure they are adequately skilled and trained for the position.

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