Following on from the 15 April Station Safety Training Day, this article aims to clarify what is meant by a ‘Just Culture’ and how the Safety Reporting process works at RAF Coningsby.
Just Culture is one part of the Safety Culture (Reporting, Learning, Questioning and Flexible make-up the other 4 parts). However, it is a Just Culture that assists the development of all the other parts of our Safety Culture. It is a Culture in which personnel feel able to be truthful and are commended for admitting to mistakes. It is a Culture based on Trust and it is this Trust that is essential to a true Safety Culture. It is important at this point to identify that we are not talking about a blameless culture as this is not feasible as some unsafe acts, albeit a very small number, are indeed culpable and further restorative action is required. If the unsafe acts carried out by a very small minority of reckless personnel are ignored then it puts the rest of us in danger!
The Safety Reporting process at RAF Coningsby is independent and all investigations are carried out with their independence assured. The Investigators’ remit is not to find blame but is simply to identify causal factors in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. This process is fully supported by the Station Commander and is upheld by the Station Safety Cell Error Management Coordinators. The application of the Just Culture principles to the findings of investigations, using the RAF FAIR Model, will ensure that any culpability is determined in a consistent and transparent manner by trained personnel during an Occurrence Review Group.
In summary it is important that an environment exists where personnel feel confident to report all occurrences, so that RAF Coningsby can develop the necessary preventative actions to ensure a safer environment for us all.