SAFETY ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT TOOL (SEAT)
1. Overview. SEAT provides unit commanders with a means to survey their personnel regarding safety issues and receive real-time data on their attitudes and perceptions. Its key goal is identification and correction of subtle organisational conditions that increase mishap potential. Following survey completion, OCs/COs receive raw data concerning the climate, safety culture, resource availability, workload, progress of safety intervention programmes, and other operational factors relating to safety, within their unit. SEAT helps OCs/COs identify safety concerns and hazards while highlighting where to focus improvement activity. OCs/COs and their Safety staff can use this information to develop strategies, perform risk management decisions, and implement controls to better their organisation's performance.
2. Policy. The following policies have been established for SEAT. These policies form the cornerstone of SEAT success and protect the features that make the process as valuable as it has come to be. Any breach of trust might jeopardize the integrity and future value of this process:
- Safety Centre Involvement- SEAT is a tool for the use of commanders to better understand the safety environment of their organisations. This is best achieved if commanders can be free to use it without fear of a higher organisation looking over their shoulder. It is also impossible to conduct meaningful analysis of the data without a proper understanding of the context in which responses were made. For this reason, SEAT is primarily an automated ‘self-help’ system. Your service's Safety Centre provides only the minimum level of oversight required to administer the system and provide support to commanders where required. It does not normally review results or take a view on their significance.
- Restricted Access- Survey data is ‘owned’ by the unit/wing OC/CO. Access to unit/wing survey results are at the discretion of the OC/CO only.
- Unit Participation Timescale - In order to provide OCs/COs with better statistical results, units should aim to complete SEAT survey(s) within 30 days of the selected start date.
- Individual Survey Response Anonymity - The design of SEAT ensures individuals are free to respond without fear of reprisal. This aims to ensure the accuracy of the data and provide maximum benefit to commanders. The unit/wing administrator and commander are the final control in assuring anonymity and are expected to use their position to respect and support freedom of response.
- Organisational Confidentiality - Unit results are kept confidential to avoid SEAT results being used as a unit safety report card. Unless authorised by the OC/CO, unit results will only be shared at a higher level as part of an aggregated data pool.
- Historical Survey Access - To allow for the transfer of historical data from one unit commander to the next, unit surveys are owned by the role and not the individual. Unless in exceptional circumstances, current unit OCs/COs will be granted access to their unit’s historical surveys on request.
- Ability of Higher Headquarters to Access Aggregate Data - Higher headquarters personnel have the ability to review aggregated survey data at a macro-level in order to address community-wide issues.
- Ability to Conduct Unfettered Research/Analysis of Data - Access to data on an "as needed" basis by safety researchers in the academic environment allows the Royal Air Force the ability to address strategic issues regarding safety climate and culture. This data will normally only be released with the permission of the unit OC/CO and under strict caveats.