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Alan Corbett: Maintain the Highest Safety Standards

August 05, 2020

As Bristow lays the foundation for a bright future, the leadership team developed six Strategic Priorities to guide us on our journey. These Strategic Priorities provide a road map as we execute on our plans and pursue our goals. These priorities should help guide both our internal and external decisions and practices.

In this interview, Senior Vice President, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia & Australia (EAMEA) & Search and Rescue (SAR) Alan Corbett discusses the strategic priority Maintain the Highest Safety Standards and how it plays a role in Bristow's future success.

What actions is Bristow taking as a combined company to maintain the highest safety standards?
BeSAFE, our integrated safety information system (SIS), is structured around the highest safety standards pulling from the standards largely guided by FAA and EASA regulations and guidelines. This is critical because it ensures the aspects of safety that flow from BeSAFE – our audits, reporting, safety analytics, etc. – are maintained at the highest level. Through the integration process, we will focus on the best practices to assure the highest standards are applied globally. These high standards will be maintained through the rigor of our processes, procedures and reporting systems.

What does maintain the highest safety standards mean to you and your function?
By setting a higher standard across our operations, we're challenging the business to make sure we're not only complying with those high standards, but always looking for an opportunity to improve and strive to do better.

This helps drives a strong safety culture and assurance of alignment within the company, our clients and our regulators. This commitment is important in how I personally feel in being comfortable and understanding and managing our risks as we undertake our day to day operations.

This manifests itself in helping to build and support a strong Bristow brand where safety assurance is paramount in delivering our services. I believe we are recognized amongst our peers and clients – across the industry – as a company that can be relied upon and is committed to safety.

What can employees do to help Bristow maintain the highest safety standards?
Everyone working for this company has a responsibility and role to play in keeping each other safe as well as those that we serve. Our Just Culture practices encourage everyone to be open and communicative around all aspects of safety awareness, process and procedures. The strong reporting culture this company has is encouraged because through these reports we can learn, remedy and train to help ensure we mitigate any known or perceived risk in our operations. I would encourage everyone to trust the processes and procedures we have in place, yet be confident in raising through our systems, any concerns or observations that challenge our safety integrity.

I believe that is the expectation of Bristow our regulators and our clients.

What does Bristow do well in regard to safety?
We do many things well in safety; most importantly I believe we have a strong reporting culture, robust operating procedures and comprehensive training programs. We engage well within all the functional groups to understand where the primary risks sit and collectively review and understand how we can mitigate and correct any such current or future risks that sit within the operation. We have Safety Action Groups and Review Boards, as well as internal and external audit reviews, which all help drive cadence to that process, as well as alignment and accountability.

We have robust communication processes – if we have learnings to share, we communicate internally and externally utilizing industry forums and associations as appropriate. I believe we are recognized as leading the industry in many aspects of safety management, and we have worked very hard over many years to earn that recognition.

What feedback are we getting from clients related to safety?
I think clients believe that Bristow has a strong and commendable safety culture and is conducting its business safely and consistently across the globe. Bristow's strong Safety Management System plays an important role in the trust we've built with our clients. Our clients applaud the fact that we have an active stop work authority process where we are willing to call out, if necessary, ourselves, our contractors and indeed our clients. We will take a step back when needed to make sure we're mitigating risks and conducting our business safely. Our clients expect us to do that and endorse that action. Our clients will of course continually monitor our safety statistics and be very open and honest in the feedback they provide. This helps us in again driving continuous improvements and pushing our safety standards as we learn and improve.

Can you provide any examples of safety in action?
The current pandemic is a strong example of Bristow's safety in action. In the UK, we made Gap SAR aircraft available to our clients at the beginning of the pandemic. As COVID-19 evolved, we adapted our processes and procedures to always provide safety and security to our clients, passengers and crews – even during uncertain times. We collaborated within industry and with our clients to ensure we could safely transport people without exposing anyone to any undue risk. We worked with local health and safety organizations and the oil and gas industry to always make sure we put our best foot forward and that we could share these learnings as everyone engaged with this global pandemic. Bristow was recognized as always being at the forefront of these efforts.