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Safety Management System (SMS)

United® leads the global airline industry in developing and implementing safety-related solutions to the hazards that air carriers face. In January 2015 the FAA mandated that all airlines have a functioning Safety Management System (SMS) in place by 2018. United’s implementation plan was approved by the FAA in 2015 and the carrier began required validation audits with United’s Certificate Management Team late last year. We are expecting completion of the comprehensive audit process in early 2017 resulting in approval of the federally mandated SMS shortly thereafter.

SMS is the formal, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls. SMS gives airlines a set of business processes and management tools to examine data gathered from everyday operations, isolate trends that may be precursors to incidents or accidents, take steps to mitigate the risk and verify the effectiveness of the program.

All our operational divisions participate in Aviation Safety Action Programs allowing for reporting of safety issues. The SMS Hazard Identification and Corrective Action and Preventive Action tracker systems are used to track and manage the required hazard identification and safety risk management processes. These systems are used to analyze potential hazards, determine the level of risk and notify other departments that may be affected. This system accelerates our ability to respond to hazards and helps United measure our overall safety performance and effectiveness over time.

Maintaining safety for employees and aircraft

The 2015 OSHA Recordable Injury rate was reduced by 10 percent as compared to 2014 performance and is trending down further for 2016. The Lost Time Injury rate decreased slightly in 2015 year over year, and is performing at a 32 percent improvement for 2016. Our focus to improve safety has been on providing solid investigations, identifying causal factors and sustainable corrective action for all incident types. The Safety Excellence program also continues to gain momentum across the system by recognizing locations for good safety performance and culture. Data reference herein is through May 6, 2016.

OSHA Recordable Injuries

  • 2012: 6.85
  • 2013: 6.87
  • 2014: 6.60
  • 2015: 6.02
  • 2016: 4.91

Lost Time Injuries

  • 2012: 3.45
  • 2013: 3.19
  • 2014: 3.15
  • 2015: 3.13
  • 2016: 2.13

The 2015 aircraft damage rate dropped by 33 percent over year-end 2014 and is currently trending lower than the year-end 2015 performance. The operating divisions are developing plans to address and reduce damages. Data referenced herein is through May 6, 2016.

Aircraft damage

  • 2012: 2.24
  • 2013: 2.29
  • 2014: 2.18
  • 2015: 1.63
  • 2016: 1.32