Safety Management System

Safety management system (SMS) is a comprehensive management system designed to manage safety elements in the workplace. It includes policy, objectives, plans, procedures, organization, responsibilities and other measures. 
The SMS is used in industries that manage significant safety risks, including aviation, petroleum, chemical, electricity generation and others.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended that all aviation authorities implement SMS regulatory structures.
ICAO has provided resources to assist with implementation, including the ICAO Safety Management Manual. The ICAO focus is to use SMS for managing aviation safety. 
The ICAO proposed the development of a new Annex (ICAO Annex 19) dedicated to Safety Management. The Annex 19 was published in February 2013 and entered into force on November 14, 2013.

The benefits identified of this approach included: 

  • Address safety risks proactively;
  • Manage and support strategic regulatory and infrastructure developments;
  • Re-enforce the role played by the State in managing safety at the State level, in coordination with service providers;
  • Stress the concept of overall safety performance in all domains. 

The United States has introduced SMS for airports through an advisory circular and other guidance.

According CAA’s AC 120-032D, an SMS is a system to assure the safe operation of aircraft through effective management of safety risk. 
This system is designed to continuously improve safety by identifying hazards, collecting and analyzing data and continuously assessing safety risks. 
Safety management goes beyond the traditional approach of compliance with prescriptive regulations to a systematic approach to managing safety where potential safety risks are identified and managed before they result in aviation accidents and incidents. 

SMS adopts a business-like approach to safety, similar to the way that finances are managed, with safety plans, safety performance indicators and targets and continuous monitoring of the safety performance of the organization. It provides for effective risk based decision making processes across the business.
CAA’s AC 120-032D points that SMS is necessary for an aviation organization to identify hazards and manage safety risks encountered during the delivery of its products or services.

An SMS includes key elements that are essential for hazard identification and safety risk management by ensuring that:

  1. the necessary information is available;
  2. the appropriate tools are available for the organization’s use;
  3. the tools are appropriate to the task;
  4. the tools are commensurate with the needs and constraints of the organization; and
  5. decisions are made based on full consideration of the safety risk.

The CAA provides several materials in SMS course, such as Module 1 Course Introduction, Module 2 Basic Safety Concept, Module 3 Safety Management, Module 4 Hazard Rev01, Module 5 Risk, Module 6 regulation, Module 7 SMS Introduction, Module 8 SMS Planning, Module 9 SMS Operation, Module 9-1 SMS Software, Module 9-2 SPI-Rev01, Module 9-3 Safety Assurance, and Module 10 Phase Implementation.