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Railway Safety Management Systems
Safety Management Systems
A safety management system (SMS) is a formal way to make safety part of day-to-day railway operations. It includes safety goals and performance targets, risk assessments, responsibilities and authorities, rules and procedures, and monitoring and evaluation processes.
A safety management system provides railway companies with a focused approach to building a safety culture throughout the organization. This helps reduce public and employee deaths and injuries, as well as the property and environmental damage that railway accidents can cause.
The Railway SMS Regulations
Transport Canada and railway companies share the objective of improving railway safety management systems.
Under Transport Canada’s Railway SMS Regulations, in force since 2001, all federally regulated railway companies must implement and maintain an SMS. While railways may create an SMS that best suits their organization, needs and operations, it must include documented systems and procedures, which give both Transport Canada and the railways a consistent basis for monitoring safety performance. Railways must also report to Transport Canada on their safety performance, safety goals, and new safety efforts - every year.
Monitoring Railway Safety
SMS is not self-regulation, and the Railway SMS Regulations do not replace any regulations, rules or standards.
Transport Canada monitors compliance with the regulations through:
To learn more, see Transport Canada’s Guide for Developing, Implementing and Enhancing Railway Safety Management Systems (2010).