Safety Programs
Delta provides a suite of safety training that includes compliance requirements as well as tailored information relevant to an employee’s role:
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Just Culture – one of our long-established safety initiatives – is at the forefront to emphasize its importance to new employees within Delta. Just Culture uses collaboration, observations and conversations, such as peer-to-peer or manager-to-employee, to investigate safety incidents and to prevent them in the future, teaching by showing rather than by telling. Just Culture is a mindset that focuses on learning from good faith mistakes rather than punishment or blaming.
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Safety Culture – In late 2021, we completed safety culture assessments at three of our larger U.S. airports – LAX, SLC and DEN. The results were validated by an external airport leadership team. Following the validation, grassroots teams representing frontline and mid-level leadership employees were established to address challenges identified in the assessment.
Projects addressed “cultural norms” with teams applying simple culture-based tools to develop an understanding of the beliefs, perceptions and assumptions that support those norms. During 2022, this approach was used for projects such as safety time-outs, vehicle use and care, leaders setting the tone for safety, ergonomic behaviors and team lifts and sharing safety concerns and mistakes. Having those individuals closest to the work drive change in their areas and engage with peers in the development of solutions created shared success.
Regular quality assurance audits and employee interviews are performed at domestic and international airports to evaluate the implementation and success of these initiatives and programs. The audit findings and interview results are shared with leaders to proactively identify opportunity areas and best practices.
The Ground Safety Advocate (GSA) program launched, bringing to life the Just Culture concept by assisting new employees in practicing their peer-to-peer communication skills about safety concerns to promote best safety practices.
We expanded the network of Health Centrals (onsite health and well-being centers within airports) to provide immediate physical therapy, proactive treatments and exercise routines and, in many cases, access to gym equipment.
Investments in ground handling equipment were made, such as Powerstows (i.e., advanced belt loaders that can transport bags inside aircraft cargo bins), and other significant, continued investment in our eligible GSE fleet, including electrification.
L365 Leading Safety – a unified, cross-divisional learning program for safety leaders – was launched to enhance leadership skills and hear advice and lessons learned from other leaders across the company.
A back-to-basics course in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and injury case management is in place to better position frontline leadership personnel to conduct more accurate, timely and complete injury investigations.
Flight Safety – We have made further enhancements to our safety assurance process through proactive key safety performance indicators directly related to the operation of an aircraft. These precursors allow better insights within an evolving environment and deliver risks to appropriate stakeholders before they become larger concerns.
Delta held its first annual Safety and Environmental Summit in late 2022, bringing together the frontline safety and environmental leaders across the company. This two- day event included messages from Delta’s divisional and corporate leaders, keynote speakers and breakout sessions to deliver more detailed information on specific topics.
We communicated the importance of safety through weekly videos, internal posts, town halls, daily interactions with leaders and within workspaces to supplement training and embed a culture of safety.
2022 Safety at a Glance
(Total Recordable Injury Rate)
(Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Date)
1 TRIR, the number of recordable incidents per 100 workers in our airline operation over one year, increased from 3.83 to 4.28 due primarily to the increase in operations post-COVID.
2 DART, the number of recordable incidents with lost time or restrictions per 100 workers in our airline operation over one year decreased from the 2021 rate 3.46 to 3.21. The decrease indicates the rate of injuries are less severe, resulting in less time off work or on transitional duty.