August 24, 2017

Miracle on the Hudson: Co-pilot to explain how a culture of safety saved 155 lives

Miracle on the Hudson:

Co-pilot to explain how a culture of safety saved 155 lives

Rolling Meadows, Ill., Aug. 24, 2017— U.S. Airways co-pilot Jeff Skiles, a keynote speaker at the upcoming Metals Service Center Institute Safety Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., says a no-blame, dedicated safety culture was key as he and pilot Chesley Sullenberger safely crashed their jet into the Hudson River with no lives lost in 2009. Skiles says the industry over time has developed constantly updated procedures based on pilots’ ability to step up and describe their mistakes without being penalized by their companies or federal aviation authorities.

“We have developed systems over the last 25 years that allowed us to be successful,” Skiles said of the heroic river landing. “And those systems are not particular to the airline industry. They transfer readily, as they must, to any business or organization where safety is the primary concern.”

Skiles will tell the full story at MSCI’s Safety Conference Sept. 27–28. “It used to be with an engine failure, we would have to remember what to do, but as planes and flying became more complicated, it was obvious we needed written checklists and formalized procedures.” These he explained, have only been developed because of a no-fault reporting system that reaches from the FAA down to every flight officer.

“This is all part of our culture of safety and that culture drives everything we do,” Skiles said. “We did have to overcome the hesitancy of pilots to report, but over time we’ve changed the culture and made it clear that this information is shared throughout the industry, down to all front-line employees and has become an invaluable tool to save lives.

“Human beings are just human,” Skiles said. “The vast majority comes to work to do the best job they can. But management can help with that. And consistently analyzed quality assurance and accident data can enhance workers’ awareness.”

For more of Skiles’ pre-conference interview, visit http://www.msci.org/Edge.

The MSCI Safety Conference program brings top-level industrial metals safety executives and professionals together each year, to hear about and share the latest in safety initiatives, and lessons learned. “There is nothing more important to us than making sure that our employees go home safe after every shift,” said MSCI president and CEO Bob Weidner. “This is not only a moral imperative, it is simply good business.” The MSCI Safety Conference occurs this year in conjunction with the National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo.

About MSCI
Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute is a nonprofit association based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., serving the industrial metals supply chain. It serves more than 330 members in over 1,200 locations in North America. For more information, visit www.MSCI.org, MSCI’s  online resource MSCI.org/Edge, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn.