Safety Management

Safety Management


Safety Management Systems (SMS)


Safety Management is a buzzword at the moment with governments and industries around the world mandating and implementing systems to manage and monitor risk.

What exactly is Safety Management and how is it implemented?



Safety Management is a comprehensive, structured, systematic method of managing safety risks through the development of procedures and safeguards designed to eliminate or mitigate the risks in all areas and from all sources. It is not sufficient to focus safety management simply on the obvious active failures such as errors or violations committed by workers at the coal face. It is also necessary to examine the core underpinnings of an operation and identify potential areas or latent conditions which could lead to a breakdown in the system and thereby cause or contribute to an accident.

A SMS provides a framework for ensuring regulatory requirements are met, industry guidelines are taken into account, and all reasonable steps are taken to prevent or mitigate accidents.

What is an accident?


An accident is any occurrence where the outcome is unplanned, unexpected, or unwanted.

The ISM Code


The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention  (ISM Code)

On 1 July 1998, the ISM Code became mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and from that date it applied to passenger ships, including passenger high-speed craft; and oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500 gross tonnage and above. From 1 July 2002, other cargo ships – including general cargo ships and container ships - and mobile offshore drilling units of 500 gross tonnage and above were required to comply.

Functional requirements of a SMS


A SMS requires a company to identify all potential risks and put in place procedures or safeguards against these risks. In addition to the obvious risks which are easily identified and assessed companies must have procedures to ensure that employees as properly trained and certificated, equipment is properly maintained, responsibilities clearly identified, etc.