Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) System Safety Handbook

Keywords FAA federal aviation administration system safety

3.1 Definition of System Safety

System safety is a specialty within system engineering that supports program risk management. It is the application of engineering and management principles, criteria and techniques to optimize safety. The goal of System Safety is to optimize safety by the identification of safety related risks, eliminating or controlling them by design and/or procedures, based on acceptable system safety precedence. As discussed in Chapter 2, the FAA AMS identifies System Safety Management as a Critical Functional Discipline to be applied during all phases of the life cycle of an acquisition. FAA Order 8040.4 establishes a five step approach to safety risk management as: Planning, Hazard Identification, Analysis, Assessment, and Decision. The system safety principles involved in each of these steps are discussed in the following paragraphs.

3.2 Planning Principles

System safety must be planned. It is an integrated and comprehensive engineering effort that requires a trained staff experienced in the application of safety engineering principles. The effort is interrelated, sequential and continuing throughout all program phases. The plan must influence facilities, equipment, procedures and personnel. Planning should include transportation, logistics support, storage, packing, and handling, and should address Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) and Non-developmental Items (NDI). For the FAA AMS applications of system safety, a System Safety Management Plan is needed in the Preinvestment Decision phases to address the management objectives, responsibilities, program requirements, and schedule (who?, what?, when?, where?, and why?). After the Investment Decision is made and a program is approved for implementation, a System Safety Program Plan is needed. See Chapter 5, for details on the preparation of a SSPP.

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manager's manual
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The System Safety Handbook (SSH) was developed for the use of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, supporting contractors and any other entities that are involved in applying system safety policies and procedures throughout FAA. As the Federal agency with primary responsibility for civil aviation safety, the FAA develops and applies safety techniques and procedures in a wide range of activities from NAS modernization, to air traffic control, and aircraft certification. On June 28, 1998, the FAA Administrator issued Order 8040.4 to establish FAA safety risk management policy. This policy requires all the Lines of Business (LOB) of the FAA to establish and implement a formal risk management program consistent with the LOB’s role in the FAA. The policy reads in part: “The FAA shall use a formal, disciplined, and documented decision making process to address safety risks in relation to high-consequence decisions impacting the complete life cycle.”

In addition, the Order established the FAA Safety Risk Management Committee (SRMC) consisting of safety and risk management professionals representing Associate/Assistant Administrators and the offices of the Chief Counsel, Civil Rights, Government and Industry Affairs, and Public Affairs. The SRMC provides advice and guidance, upon request from the responsible program offices to help the program offices fulfill their authority and responsibility for implementing Order 8040.4.

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