SMS Component 1

Policy and objectives

 This first component could be considered as the administrative  part of the SMS.  It is a documented component where management demonstrate commitment and accountability; the safety aims and objectives of the organisation are outlines; key personnel are appointed; planning for SMS implementation is done and resources are allocated.

1.1 Management commitment

Management demonstrate a commitment to safety by allocating personnel and resources. A structure set up where safety manager can report directly to the CEO, and the there is organisation wide dissemination of;

  • Safety Policy
  • Fair and just culture, and
  • Safety objectives

Management demonstrate responsibility for these safety critical subjects

1.2 Safety accountability and responsibility

The roles, responsibilities and accountabilities defined in the organisational structure are made explicit and all managers are expected to show leadership with respect to the SMS.

1.3 Appointment of key safety personnel

A safety manager, with appropriate resources, needs to be appointed that;

  • has clearly defined safety responsibilities
  • is appropriately qualified
  • possesses the right personality traits, and
  • receives appropriate training to manage the SMS and its processes

Management also need to appoint a Safety Review committee and Safety Action groups

1.4 Coordination of the emergency response plan

The emergency response plan (ERP) is integral with the SMS and must be activated in the event of a major incident or accident.

In any transition from normal to emergency operations, the responsibilities, delegations, actions and procedures needs to be clearly defined.

The ERP may be a separate manual or as part of the SMS. Its complexity will depend on the size and complexity of the organisation it represents

1.5 SMS documentation

All aspects of SMS need to be documented. The SMS manual needs to incorporate all components and elements of SMS.

SMS documentation needs to be version controlled with a distribution list.

Compliance will require SMS documentation to be concise and specific with respect to processes and procedures

Third party interface

Contracted third party service providers need to be considered in the SMS.  A service level agreement needs to specify what safety expectations are required of them.

An organisation is still responsible for the actions of third party service providers is acting on behalf of, or interacting with the organisations.

Appropriate SMS training will be required for Third Party Service providers.  Management must accept that they are responsible for the safety of all personnel on the worksite, regardless if they are directly employed personnel or not.

SMS Implementation

SMS implementation planning is a project management exercise like many others. It requires a project manager, a timeline, resources and management commitment.