Volvo Cars did something big, bold, and daring in 2008 that could transform aviation safety today.
First, they set an impossible goal: “Our Vision is that no one is killed or injured in a Volvo by 2020.”
Then, they acted on it.
[See the full Volvo Vision 2020 presentation here]
They set a clear goal, they gave themselves a deadline, and they told the world about it
The 15 words of the Volvo Vision are 100 times more inspiring and engaging than any long-winded safety poster I’ve ever seen hanging from the walls of an aviation operation.
Lessons from Volvo’s safety culture don’t only belong on roads, aviation and safety culture can learn from Volvo’s vision.
For example, I’ve often heard people in aerial firefighting question the “zero accidents” mentality.
They say, “That’s impossible – there are too many inherent risks to the activity”.
That might be true, as Volvo learned back in 2020 when they failed to meet their own impossible goal. But in this case, failing to reach a goal was not the same as failure.
Imagine the level of commitment and purpose from Volvo engineers and researchers when their leaders stood up for safety in a public way!
Most importantly, the company saved lives and prevented harm. Results back them up.
In the UK, experts from Thatcham Research analyzed official police-provided Government accident statistics, cross-matched them with insurance data, and found no record of anyone ever dying inside an XC90 – either as a passenger or driver – between 2004 and 2017. At the time, over 50.000 had been sold!
As committed innovators, they kept ahead of coming regulatory changes, sometimes even inducing them, rather than being behind and adapting.
In 1959, Volvo invented the 3 point safety belt, which has saved more than 1 million lives since then. Other manufacturers got it for free.
The Volvo car accident research team was also created during that decade. It has been deployed over 43.000 times to gather safety information. There are over 100 research papers available for download.
Volvo’s commitment to safety is evident in many of the modern features most brands use: AEB, ACC, BLIS, Lane Assist, and connected safety.
They work cross-functionally, encouraging the industry, cooperating with authorities, and challenging researchers, all under one voice. Their proactive planning of traffic infrastructure and safe roads is one example.
Corporate responsibility and the right to feel safe. I have heard that before…very Swedish!
Check out the video below and consider how your company and the manufacturer of the machine you currently work with are ensuring your safety and that of those around you.
Are you fortunate enough to work for a safety leader?
#aviation #safety #aerialfirefighting