Yes, a Chief Safety Officer or SMS Executive also can be responsible for security in their transit system. In rail transit systems, Chief Safety Officers cannot have additional operational and maintenance responsibilities, they must be dedicated to ensuring safety within the system as a full-time responsibility. Rail transit agencies may petition FTA to allow its Chief Safety Officer to serve multiple roles given administrative and financial hardships with having a single, dedicated, and full-time Chief Safety Officer.
FTA’s National Public Transportation Safety Plan provides an overview of SMS. Additionally, FTA publishes other SMS resources on its website as they are developed. Individuals may access those resources at https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/safety/safety-management-systems-sms.
No. Only operators of public transportation systems that are subject to this rule must develop and implement SMS processes.
SMS improves on the SSPP framework by integrating and harmonizing the various elements of a safety plan so that they work together to manage safety risks throughout all aspects of a transit agency’s operations. SMS provides structure and accountability to supply management with ongoing information about safety risks concerning an agency’s operations. SMS supports management decisions to prioritize actions and allocate resources to resolve identified safety concerns or reduce safety risk to an acceptable level.
The key difference between SMS and system safety is how safety is managed under each approach. FTA’s PTASP rule requires transit operators to manage their safety risks through the implementation of SMS. SMS is a top-down, data-driven management system which involves the continuous collection and analysis of information that helps a transit operator become proactive about how it addresses safety risks. In contrast, system safety—a common transit industry approach to safety—is an engineering discipline that incorporates safety into a system during its design and construction.
A Safety Management System (SMS) is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing safety. It brings management and labor together to control risk better, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more precisely.