Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Safety Management Systems

Summary and Conclusions

Safety Management Systems (SMS) helps managers better monitor and understand the safety performance of their organisation. Increasingly prevalent in the past two decades, SMS provide a rigorous framework for analysing hazards and controlling risks. This report reviews the history and the workings of SMS and addresses the role of the regulator in an SMS environment. It discusses how to overcome obstacles to SMS implementation, introduces resilience engineering as a way to measure the effectiveness of SMS and finally examines how accident investigations can help address deficiencies in the SMS. Many of the concepts and notions brought forward in this report apply equally to all modes of transport as well as any industry that operate with inherent hazards that can lead to safety risks.


Policy Insights

  • Management commitment to establishing safety policies and objectives 
  • Inclusion of explicit safety (non-punitive) reporting procedures 
  • Safety performance monitoring and measurement
  • Identification of accountable management employees
  •  Appointment of key safety personnel responsible for safety oversight and promotion 
  • Implementation of a risk management process to identify hazards and associated risks
  • Safety training at management and employee levels

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