Effectiveness of risk controls as indicator of safety performance

Alfred Roelen, Robbert van Aalst, Nektarios Karanikas, Steffen Kaspers, Selma Piric, Robert J. de Boer

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The objective of the study described in this paper is to define safety metrics that are based on the effectiveness of risk controls. Service providers define and implement such risk controls in order to prevent hazards developing into an accident. The background of this research is a specific need of the aviation industry where small and medium-sized enterprises lack large amounts of safety-related data to measure and demonstrate their safety performance proactively. The research department of the Aviation Academy has initiated a 4-year study, which will test the possibility to develop new safety indicators that will be able to represent safety levels proactively without the benefit of large data sets. As part of the development of alternative safety metrics, safety performance indicators were defined that are based on the effectiveness of risk controls. ICAO (2013) defines a risk control as “a defence with specific mitigation actions, preventive controls or recovery measures put in place to prevent the realization of a hazard or its escalation into an undesirable consequence”. Examples of risk controls are procedures, education and training, a piece of equipment etc. It is crucial for service providers to determine whether the introduced risk controls are indeed effective in reducing the targeted risk. ICAO (2013) describes the effectiveness of risk control as "the extent to which the risk control reduces or eliminates the safety risks”, but does not provide guidance on how to measure the effectiveness of risk control. In this study, a generic metrics for the effectiveness of risk controls based on their effectiveness was developed. The definition of the indicators allows, for each risk control, derivation of specific indicators based on the generic metrics. The suitability of the metrics will subsequently be tested in pilot studies within the aviation industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-189
JournalAUP Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Event2nd International Cross-industry Safety Conference - CASA Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Nov 20173 Nov 2017


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