Set up a Safety Management System

Safety management is vital to keeping our skies safe. It involves managing your business activities and preventing accidents, injuries and minimising risk by applying:

  • principles
  • frameworks
  • processes.

It also includes identifying hazards that could cause harm, damage or injury, or have negative consequences such as bad weather, workload fatigue and lack of emergency equipment.

Safety Management Systems

A Safety Management System (SMS) is an organised approach to managing safety and includes:

  • organisational structures
  • accountabilities
  • policies
  • procedures.

It should be tailored to the size and complexity of your organisation.

What you should include

Your SMS must include the 4 main components and 12 elements listed below:

  • Safety policy and objectives
    • management commitment and responsibility
    • safety accountabilities
    • appointment of key safety personnel
    • coordination of emergency response planning
    • SMS documentation
  • Safety risk management
    • hazard identification
    • risk assessment and mitigation
  • Safety assurance
    • safety performance monitoring and measurement
    • the management of change
    • continuous improvement of the SMS
  • Safety promotion
    • training and education
    • safety communication.

You should also consider your implementation plan, how contractors and/or third parties use your system and specifically how you will conduct investigations.

How to set it up

You can read our setting up your SMS guide. This will help you prepare and develop your implementation plan. The first step in implementation is a gap analysis and the SMS Evaluation Tool can help you conduct this.

Your SMS will be a living document that will grow and improve with your organisation.

Educating your staff

You and your staff will need SMS training, this can be either internal or with an external provider. You should also create a safety management library within your organisation.

You can also provide SMS information in your organisation's:

  • safety bulletins
  • newsletters
  • promotional posters
  • meetings
  • workshops.
Last updated:
4 Dec 2021
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