Safety - our first priority

Our commitment to a healthy, safe and secure environment for our people and customers.

Our approach

We remain focused on creating a healthy, safe and secure environment for our people and customers. Through collaboration and an openness to learning from both success and failure, we strive to prevent accidents, incidents, injuries and illness.

Each Qantas Group business operates integrated management systems that satisfy safety, health, security and environment legislative and regulatory requirements.

Our safety and security activities are supported by robust governance processes to ensure performance and risks are monitored. We encourage our people to report safety and security-related matters, even when they are closely involved and might feel vulnerable to criticism. This is supported by policies and procedures to ensure our people are treated fairly under what is known as ‘just culture’.

engineers working on aircraft

Operational safety

Aviation remains the safest form of travel. To maintain this, the entire industry needs to keep collaborating on safety issues of common interest.

The Qantas Group continues to invest in our capability to deliver safe and efficient aircraft operations, and to share our learnings with other airlines. Some recent areas of improvement are:

  • Loading aircraft – We have implemented strategies and technology to streamline integration between business units in the process of aircraft loading, helping to remove bottle necks and increase safety.
  • Better procedures – We have worked with our frontline staff to review and update how we present work instructions, leveraging technology to make our procedural information more interactive, visual and accessible. Involving our people helps ensure responsibility for safety is shared.
  • Information sharing – In FY18, we hosted a number of key aviation meetings, including the International Air Transport Association’s World Air Transport Summit and its Safety Audit Oversight Council Meeting. These meetings include discussion of programs that will strengthen and improve global aviation safety and operational standards.
side view of aircraft

People safety

In an industry that remains reliant on a substantial amount of manual handling, we’re proud that our workplace safety continues to improve. In FY18 our performance for Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate and Lost Work Case Frequency Rate both improved compared to last year. However, our Duration Rate rose slightly.

While prevention is key, we have streamlined the management of injuries – for instance, providing on-site physiotherapy. This ensures our people feel fit to return to work sooner.

Our focus on mental health continues. We’re providing training to our leaders to give them the skills to identify and respond to mental health issues in the workplace. Our Mental Health First Aid training program, similar to physical first aid, equips our leaders to provide immediate assistance until appropriate professional help is received. We continue to offer our 3,000 pilots across the Group access to the Pilot Assistance Network, which is a confidential ‘pilots helping pilots’ program to help crew and their families deal with stress and other health issues. A confidential Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees.

engineers working on aircraft

Operational security

The aviation industry continues to face complex threats from individuals and organisations globally, with Australia remaining a potential target for extremist groups.

Qantas works closely with the Australian Government and overseas agencies, regulators, law enforcement and its global partners across the industry to proactively manage these threats. We are at the forefront of improving security outcomes for customers and employees by operating within a security framework that is proportionate, agile and responsive to changing risks across our network.

Qantas Group Security participates in several domestic and international committees to refine security measures, plan for and acquire enhanced security equipment and to determine world best practices in aviation security.

Together with our government and industry partners, some of the key security improvements in FY18 were:

  • Trialling biometric systems to improve security outcomes for those wishing to travel on our aircraft, for employees wishing to access airport Security Restricted Areas and for enhanced border controls.
  • Working with the International Air Transport Association, the US Transportation Security Administration and the Australian Federal Government on policy settings to enhance the security surrounding both international and domestic cargo acceptance and carriage.
  • Responding to the Australian Government’s enhanced access requirements to airport restricted areas and to enhance the criteria for holding an Aviation Security identification Card.

With our partners, the Qantas Group has played a leading role in programs to build capacity in aviation security across the region, working in partnership with the Australian Government, we have assisted airport operators and national regulators in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines to enhance their aviation security capabilities in areas including passenger screening.

The Qantas Group, alongside the Australian Government has led the design and implementation of the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program, a voluntary program that gives traders and service providers trade facilitation benefits where they have demonstrated a secure and compliant supply chain. Key benefits of the program include improved speed to market, streamlined reporting, secure trade lanes, predictability of supply chain, reciprocal arrangements, reduced exposure to government cost recovery fees and the enhanced facilitation of legitimate trade.

Female Qantas link crew checking propeller

Data security and privacy

Like most industries, the aviation sector is dependent on data, systems and networks and we take our customer’s trust in the security of their personal data seriously. The Qantas Group is constantly improving its cyber capabilities as part of its overall data and privacy protection. Like many large organisations, we operate in an environment of ever-evolving cyber threats, where external attackers are always adopting more sophisticated techniques. Protection from these attacks — and the potential financial and public reputation implications associated with unauthorised access to the information we hold — is key.

We are working to constantly expand employee awareness of data security risks, including through ‘no notice’ simulations and structured training. The need for shared vigilance on cyber issues is supported by formal recognition of employees who help detect attempted cyber scams.

Risk assessments are conducted on relevant third party suppliers and we work with them to address any material risks identified. Read about our approach to risk management.

Across the Group we collect, collate, store, manage and transmit a substantial volume of data, all of which must be handled in accordance with international and domestic legislation. We acknowledge our responsibility to protect the privacy and maintain security of the data we hold. To assist us to better meet our obligations and manage our risk, a dedicated Data Privacy team is being established to implement a coordinated enterprise-wide strategy and framework, including investment in resources and technology that will support the Group to effectively address the intensifying global privacy regulatory requirements.

Business resilience

The ability to respond to risks and recover from impacts is the cornerstone of the Qantas Group’s business resilience framework.

This framework is the primary response and recovery approach for the management of an event which has caused, or has the potential to cause, an unacceptable level of risk or impact to any of the Group’s businesses.

In FY18 it was used to manage the recovery of thousands of passengers affected by the Mount Agung volcano eruption impacting Qantas and Jetstar operations in Denpasar, Indonesia. It was also used to minimise the impact of an acute fuel shortage at Auckland Airport, guiding our response that included the use of 747s as ‘fuel mules’ to tanker supplies into Auckland that enabled Qantas and Jetstar to keep flying.

Our partnerships with the Australian Government, foreign governments, strategic industry partners and emergency service agencies continue to strengthen. This ensures the Group is coordinated when required to respond to a range of situations – including support of humanitarian efforts.