When an organisation sets safety objectives they can be measured because they follow the SMART principle. So if an SMS is failing to meet those measurable objectives, it needs to change to correct this.
The continuous improvement of the SMS is what makes each SMS unique to each organisation. The initial entrance control SMS manual may be common with others. But over time the SMS (and the manual) change to reflect the unique nature of organisation
Each component and element of the SMS needs to be reviewed at least annually to confirm it is meeting the core safety objectives, expected safety performance and that the hazards and risks are continuing to be managed. The first element in Safety Assurance component was safety performance monitoring and measurement. In reviewing the results from this, the SMS needs to be changed and improved to ensure safety targets are being met.
Continuous improvement of the SMS is achieved through:
- Assessment of how the SMS is functioning;
- Identification and analysis of possible issues/challenges associated with the running of the SMS;
- Implementing changes aimed at improving the SMS;
- Monitoring and reviewing the effects of any changes.
Continuous improvement can also be achieved when the SMS is functioning well, performance of the SMS can always be improved. Measures that can improve the SMS include;
- Leaner procedures;
- Improved safety reviews, studies and audits;
- Improved reporting and analysis tools;
- Improved hazards identification and risk assessment processes and improved awareness of risks in the Company;
- Improved relations with the subcontractors, suppliers and customers regarding safety;
- Improved communication processes, including feedback from the personnel.
Continuous improvement of the SMS may target any element of the SMS. Anything addressed in the SMS Manual potentially may increase the effectiveness of the system over time.
The Safety Manager performs a review of the SMS (how effectively goals and objectives were met) and will provide a report on the SMS (how effectively the SMS works, the stage of implementation, results of audits and review of actions, any issues/challenges and proposals for improvement) annually to the SRC.