Safety management systems

Management objective

  • Implement a formal, company-wide safety management system
  • Demonstrate compliance with legislative OHS requirements
  • Demonstrate compliance with standards such as AS/NZS 4801, OHS 18001, or ICAO Annex 19

Kesteven Management Documentation provides the framework and tools to implement and operate an effective and efficient safety management system, as a stand-alone platform or as an integral part of your business management system.

Implementing an effective safety management system is challenging. But it needn’t be a clerical nightmare. Kesteven Management Documentation has all the structural elements to implement a formal, auditable system. As an example, here is how it can work to meet the requirements of ICAO Annex 19 —

The Kesteven Management Documentation safety management system structure

Integrated Safety Management System

These are the required elements defined in ICAO Annex 19 Safety Management —

1. Safety policy and objectives
1.1 Management commitment and responsibility
The governance framework defines the full set of management commitments and accountabilities. Safety is a core commitment; but it is a mistake to treat it in isolation. Safety is not an add-on. Managing safety in the context of the organization’s general commitment to safe, legal, and ethical operation also resolves, at the top level, the risk of conflicting objectives.
1.2 Safety accountabilities
In addition to the general terms of reference defined for the accountable manager and for the safety committee, details accountabilities and responsibilities are defined automatically by cross-reference to the policies, procedures, and other documentation elements within the system. Procedural changes are automatically linked to the positions and teams with corresponding accountability.
1.3 Appointment of key safety personnel
The definition of positions, and the appointment of personnel to fill those positions, is automatically tracked to enable the organization to demonstrate the hierarchy of authorities and to show that the SMS manager does not have conflicting responsibilities.
1.4 Coordination of emergency response planning
The procedure management system provides a standard framework for planning and response activities, with mechanisms for scheduling, testing, and regular review. The framework imposes discipline on the coordination of, and boundaries between, activities and processes across the organization as a whole.
1.5 SMS documentation
The safety management system is a defined subset of the Kesteven Management Documentation documentation system as a whole. The system provides the full complement of document control services: version control, change history, retained archives, version comparison, timed review notifications, review records.
2. Safety risk management
2.1 Hazard identification
The management action system provides a standard, systematic method for recording identified hazards, incidents, non-conformances, and other actionable events. Records are gathered confidentially, registered, tracked to close-out with escalation to senior management if required, and regularly reported.
2.2 Safety risk assessment and mitigation
The risk management framework, typically based on ISO 31000, provides a simple and consistent method for recording, assessing, and managing risk in the organization.
3. Safety assurance
3.1 Safety performance monitoring and measurement
In addition to the direct monitoring and measurement of the organization’s safety performance indicators provided as part of the risk management framework, the system can also provide metrics on the robustness—and related risk implications—of the organization’s decision-making.
3.2 The management of change
Change management is an integral part of the system continual improvement system. All content changes are tracked, with a requirement that content owners certify that changes have been appropriately reviewed, certified, and approved before being issued for use. The decision control system provides a structured method for determining what reviews and certifications are required in each case.
3.3 Continuous improvement of the SMS
The system cannot force managers to review their systems and processes; but it can remind them to do so, and record and report their actions. The system’s immediate feedback loop encourages close collaboration between managers, end-users, and auditors, leading to regular review and update. Managers are judged on the performance of the personnel who report to them. End-users will not be committed to following the documented procedures unless their managers are equally committed to the continual improvement of that documentation.
4. Safety promotion
4.1 Training and education
4.2 Safety communication.
The system as a whole is directed to providing personnel with the information they need to do their work safely and effectively. It also provides a single source of truth to ensure that personnel do not receive conflicting instructions or find themselves working towards incompatible objectives.

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