Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

Gretchen Haskins

Regulation and safety performance

Gretchen Haskins is currently the CEO of HeliOffshore Ltd., a company dedicated to global offshore helicopter safety. She is an internationally recognised expert in human factors, respected for her leadership of safety improvement. Gretchen served on the Board of the UK Civil Aviation Authority as Group Director of Safety, providing oversight of aviation safety in the UK, including airlines, aerodromes, air traffic, airworthiness and personnel. Before that, she was the Group Director of Safety at NATS, where she championed and gave focus to those activities that provide front line operational safety benefit. She also worked to increase partnership within the global aviation safety community. Previously, she worked in nuclear certification and safety of intercontinental ballistic missiles, joint airworthiness trials, design of defence systems, and as an expert advisor to NATO on human performance and safety critical systems. Gretchen has a strong aviation background, having served in the US Air Force, flown jet and piston aircraft.

Gretchen Haskins, CEO HeliOffshore, Formerly Safety Director UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS, and served in US Air. The regulator and others in the system have a common purpose which is safety. People are at the heart of the system, we need a system which focuses on the things people do to prevent accidents. This includes people at all levels including frontline staff, managers, boards, regulators, patients, etc. The safety management approach of a) understand your risk, b) do something about it and c) check if it works is a tried and tested framework. So the focus should be on: what are the key safety priorities, what are the plans for improving them, and how will we know if it is really working for the people who have to deliver, to achieve the outcomes patients need? Furthermore, effective safety management systems are also all about people, and in particular the leadership and teamwork that creates a culture of continuous improvement. Regulation should support and test the extent to which these things have been achieved.