Background The goal in risk management is to define threats and to minimise risks in upcoming operations and actions. The problem is that risk management tools are usually based on things that have already happened, and related safety investigations and reports.
Description of the problem Vastly changing operational environment requires the ability to foresee future operations and the threats related to it. Our flight safety organisation made an observation that the risk management tools generally used could not answer to this demand. With this in mind the Air Force started to develop a systematic risk management tool for pointing out future threats and for planning the actions for minimising the risks.
Results The Finnish Air Force built up a risk management tool in which the experience, knowledge and know-how of our employees are made use of in the best possible way, as the tool gathers their ideas and forms focuses for future flight safety. In our tool the organisational filters are minimised for the safety information to pass the decision holders and the Air Force Commander. This tool enhances safety culture as it makes personnel work with flight safety issues and it also gives them recognition for their efforts. The Finnish Air Force has had good results using this tool. One example is the Finnish Defense Force reform that caused vast changes in our command structure, operations and personnel. With this tool we have been able to reduce the impact of the reform on flight safety.
Conclusions With this risk management tool we can modify our future operations so that most of the threats foreseen will not come true. The tool combines know-how of root level personnel and flight safety organisation still leaving the operational freedom for every level of the organisation. This tool also has a significant influence on safety culture.
- Risk management