Built from the ground up
“IQSMS is our one-stop solution for global operations, and we’re incredibly proud to have partnered with Advanced Safety and Quality Solutions (ASQS) to build it from the ground up,” smiles Frank, our Corporate Safety Manager.
Wondering how it works? Well, our dedicated Safety team uses IQSMS to manage any and all safety aspects at Volocopter. Right now, that refers to all the data we obtain from our people. And in the future it will be expanded to include all the aircraft data, thus enabling predictive maintenance, and feeding into our UAM infrastructure VoloIQ. Specifically, this will see the system delivering automatic reports on safety issues while our aircraft is in flight.
To make this possible, our team of safety superstars is set to continue growing. Together, they’ve created the Safety Moment, a forum for Volocopter employees to discuss anything that may have happened during their activities and learn from it, or to raise a safety-related topic that’s close to their hearts. The team has already gleaned useful learnings in this area: “Initial meetings have underlined the importance of these sessions being hosted by department heads and team leaders, rather than by us here on the Safety team.” And the logic stands to reason: “This is a much more effective approach: instead of a top-down tactic, the team leads can lead by example and so ensure the messages reach everyone.”
Another key consideration is the professional diversity of Volocopter employees. Unlike the Safety team, some new recruits only transitioned into aviation upon joining Volocopter. So, it’s crucial for the team to ensure everyone is up to speed on all safety-related topics that pertain to the existing aviation industry as well as to its nascent UAM branch.
To help everyone feel comfortable with alerting the team of any safety-related concerns, the IQSMS confidential reporting tool is available as both a desktop version and a dedicated app. The team wants to promote the app to ensure greater reporting flexibility and will shortly be launching a dedicated safety awareness campaign – aptly titled “Safety Firsthand” – to ensure their message hits home with everyone.
The campaign will thus seek to combat the teething problems that the SMS is experiencing. But the team also has its work cut out in another way – after all, a fully functional system doesn’t simply materialize overnight. In fact, it can take a good few years to set up even a basic iteration. But that’s not a problem for the hardworking team: “We’re trying to do as much as possible now instead of later so that the value of safety can become ingrained in the company culture and be almost second nature for us all,” says Emilia.
One challenge the team is facing is the incredible pace at which Volocopter is growing. While growth is as dynamic as it is welcome, the team is finding it hard to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to safety. That means there’s always a need to train new recruits.
The Safety team is facing this challenge head on by running onboarding sessions on safety for all new employees. They also plan to roll out an e-learning on-demand training course that’s being designed as we write in order to refresh people’s memories on the salient points of safety.