Pipelines – Safety Management System On The Way

It looks like pipelines will join oil and gas production, the chemical industry and maritime in adopting a safety management approach.   That is the takeaway from a one-day seminar the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration held on February 27th, appropriately titled “Safety Management Systems Workshop.”

It is unclear whether the agency will aggressively push for a regulation requiring safety management systems (SMS). However, API is in the final stages of preparing voluntary industry guidelines for a pipeline SMS similar to its RP 75 SEMP guidelines  for offshore oil and gas companies.  The recommended practice will be  API RP 1173.

According to a posted presentation from Ron McClain of Kinder-Morgan, who chairs the API development group , RP 1173 will include the following elements:

  1. Leadership and Management Commitment
  2. Stakeholder Engagement
  3. Risk Management
  4. Operational Controls
  5. Incident Investigation, Evaluation, and Lessons Learned
  6. Safety Assurance
  7. Management Review and Continuous Improvement
  8. Emergency Preparedness and Response
  9. Competence, Awareness, and Training
  10. Documentation and Record Keeping

RP 1173 is out for review by industry right now and it is anticipated that it will be released in the second half of the year.

Representatives from a number of other industries gave presentations at the workshop outlining their experiences with safety management approaches.  You can review all of the posted presentations here.

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