September 05, 2018

Incident-free UAS operators could be an accident waiting to happen, warns Centrik

UAS operators who boast a record of zero safety incidents could be at major risk of disaster, according to David Hunkin, Head of UAS at operational management software provider Centrik.

Hunkin has expressed concern that operators who aggressively push a zero-incident record are inadvertently discouraging proper safety reporting, putting both themselves and their co-workers in danger.

He says: “Even the safest operator is likely to have an occasional ‘near miss’, so I worry that several companies in the UAS sector make bold claims of having had zero safety incidents over the past few years. I would always expect to see a steady stream of reporting instead. In aviation, the key phrase is a ‘just culture’ – one where all staff are encouraged to speak up to continually improve the business.”

Hunkin advises the most effective way to build a just culture is to build positive feedback loops within the business, so making it easier to file reports. The aviation operational management system, Centrik, enables operators to file reports on iPads and desktops both on – and offline – so every incident can be captured.

Additionally, all reports are integrated with the relevant actions, findings and outcomes, so at a glance, all users can see how a report has been used to improve the business operation.

He says: “It’s very common to find that when staff are reporting incidents, they don’t get any feedback on their report and what lessons have been learned. Centrik solves that challenge when an incident occurs, you can directly see how you’ve helped improve the business by reporting it.”

Originally designed for aircraft operators, Centrik is the only operational management system for all elements of both manned and unmanned aviation.

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