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Roadmap to safety: 9-step safety management system

16 November 2021

#Transport, Shipping & Logistics

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Roadmap to safety: 9-step safety management system

The 9 Step Safety Management System Roadmap (Roadmap) is a tool intended to assist businesses develop and improve their heavy vehicle safety systems.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO Sal Petroccitto said the Roadmap focuses on targeted content to mitigate key safety risks. What’s more, it is an adaptive tool and can be tailored for businesses that are just starting out, improving on existing systems or seeking continuous improvement.

“An SMS (safety management system) can be as simple as undertaking a daily visual inspection of your heavy vehicle, not putting pressure on drivers to exceed the speed limits or drive fatigued and loading within your mass limits.”

“The Roadmap provides simple templates, quick guides and toolbox talks that can be tailored to suit business needs regardless of the size of your operation.”

These nine steps consist of:

  1. introduction to SMS
  2. risk assessment, treatment and monitoring – which details risk identification and assessment in order to help you improve the control and management of Chain of Responsibility (CoR) safety risks
  3. hazard and incident reporting – which details how to set up risk and hazard reporting systems to help drive a safety reporting culture
  4. management commitment and documentation – which details the importance of visible support of safety management from the top and the documentation of safety and risk control working procedures
  5. internal safety investigations – which details how to implement internal safety investigation so that safety performance lessons are learned and can be fed back into your SMS
  6. safety training and communication – which details how to develop and roll out a training and awareness program for initial and routine refreshers
  7. safety performance monitoring – which details how to utilise checks and balances on your business’ safety performance to critically reassess how well your SMS is at targeting and eliminating or reducing the CoR risks that arise from your transport activities
  8. third-party interactions – which details to what extent and how you should engage with third parties in your supply chain to ensure that your shared safety duties are being met, including the importance of clear expectation management at the outset
  9. continuous improvement and change management – which details why it is important that your SMS doesn’t sit stagnant and how and when to critically re-evaluate how your business is performing against your benchmarks and whether your SMS is truly delivering positive safety outcomes or might need tinkering to do so.

Within each section, tips and resources are provided for those that are ‘starting out’, ‘improving on’ their SMS and at the ‘continuous improvement’ stage. This means that no matter whether you are starting from scratch or have already developed and implemented part of or a complete SMS, you can dive into the Roadmap at a point that corresponds to where you are and take it from there. For those at the earlier stages of development, it also allows you to look ahead and map out your CoR SMS development plan into the future, to get you to the next stage of development.

As a whole, the Roadmap is a great resource to help you work through the development and refinement of your CoR safety management. It doesn’t ‘give you the answer’, as there is no single ‘answer’ to how to manage CoR – so you will still have to put in the work. But it does act as a helpful guide to plot out what your journey should look like.

As you work through that journey, if any questions arise or you need further assistance, please speak to us or contact us here.

Author: Nathan Cecil

  • This article was originally published in CoR Adviser. The article is © 2020 Portner Press Publishing Pty Ltd and has been reproduced with permission of Portner Press.

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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