The British health and safety at work act 1974, was enforced to ensure that general duties in the work place were conducted safely and correctly from employers towards employees and members of the public, and the duties that employees have to themselves and to each other. These duties are qualified in the act by the principle of so far as is reasonably practicable'. Therefore an employer does not have to take measures to avoid or reduce the risk if they are technically impossible or if the time, trouble or cost of the measures would be grossly disproportionate to the risk. (Source: www.hse.gov.uk)
The British Airports Authority (BAA) is the world's leading airport company with over 140 million passengers travelling via BAA airports in 2004 (source: www.BAA.co.uk/factsandfigures). BAA pioneered airport privatisation, retailing and security; it is widely recognised for its responsible and efficient airport operations. BAA owns seven of Britain's major airports they include Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The British Airports Authority was formed in 1986 when the airports act was passed, calling for dissolution of the authority and the transfer of its property, rights and liabilities to a new company, BAA plc. For the year ending 31 March 2004 BAA directly employed 12,533 staff (source: www.BAA.co.uk/factsandfigures).
The British Airports Authority manages aircraft safety and occupational health and safety with a great degree of expertise and to rigorous standards. Without adequate safety management, legal and moral obligations cannot be met, and business losses may be incurred, including significant financial losses.
Examples of such losses include:
a) Compromised aircraft safety and the potential for a catastrophic aircraft accident; b) Costs of replacing and compensating injured employees or others; c) Contractual penalties or loss of revenue if flights are delayed; d) Damaged assets (including aircraft and equipment);
e) Loss of reputation;
f) Loss of existing and future contracts.
Source: GAO, (2004) Aviation Safety, Advancements Being Pursued To Improve Airliner Cabin Occupant Safety and Health, 59-62
BAA has exemplified its determination to conduct good working practice in their health and safety policy, which reads as follows:
"To give safety and security the highest priority at all times by systematically assessing and managing our safety and security risks through audited, best practice management systems." (Source: www.baa.co.uk/ourpolicies)
The legal requirements in relation to aircraft safety are set out in the Air Navigation Order 2005 (ANO). The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) set out the requirements to assure occupational health and safety. The ANO and MHSWR requirements are supported by codes of practice or regulatory requirements. (Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/airtransport/index.htm)
BAA regards safety and security risk in operations as the most important risk to manage throughout the group. The group mitigates this risk by adopting and enforcing policies and procedures supported by professional training and by investment in security technology. In periods of heightened security awareness, BAA works closely with government agencies, police and the armed forces to raise security measures to a level proportionate with the raised threat environment. Assurance is provided through management reporting processes and a specialist compliance audit, reporting directly to the health, safety, security and environment committee.
Safety Performance Management (SPM) is a key health and safety monitoring tool applied by BAA (source: www.baa.co.uk/). SPM reflects a structured process of management and involves policy and target setting, activity monitoring, measuring and reviewing performance against targets, supervising, rewarding and disciplining. SPM...
References: Newspapers/ Issue Briefs:
British Airports Authroity (2004), Safety and Security Issue Brief, BAA; London)
Accessed via post 28/12/05
Bowcott, (2004), the guardian newspaper, Iris recognition - a new game of eye spy to speed the passenger 's journey, July 29)
United States General Accounting Office, (2004) Aviation Safety, Advancements Being Pursued To Improve Airliner Cabin Occupant Safety and Health, 59-62
Civil Aviation Authority, (2003), CAP 642, Airside Safety Management, 30-35
Thompson, J, (2003) Strategic Management, Thomson, Tunbridge Wells, 4th Edition Pg 165, 739 – 740, 1013
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