Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

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Not all safety rules are followed the way they’re supposed to be. Board an airplane, and there is one that is followed 100% of the time.  Every single time a flight takes off.

Know what it is?

Buckle your seatbelt.

Passengers must also bring up their seat back, close their tray table, and stow their gear under the seat in front of them. So, actually there are four rules that are going to be followed, exactly as written.

As to how those rules are always followed, the pilot will not allow the plane to be moved until there is verification of compliance. It’s that simple.


If airline passengers were left on their own to decide whether to buckle up, the compliance would probably be more like what it is in private vehicles: 90% would be buckled up, seat straight, tray tables up, aisle clear.

If that were the approach, on a plane loaded with a hundred or more passengers, it’s not hard to do the math as to how many would be buckled in. And how many wouldn’t be.


Suppose those running the airline business were to decide: “Nobody likes being told what to do, or being forced into compliance. And most people think safety rules are an imposition. So, we’ll just leave it up to the individual passenger to decide whether or not to comply with these safety rules.”

Here is today’s Darn Good Question: If you were one of those passengers, what would you think about that approach to following the safety rules?

Paul Balmert
September 2018


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