Resources - System Safety

System Safety Management Plan (SSMP)

The SSMP is a document prepared by systems safety manager and becomes the road map for the project’s system safety effort. This plan tailors the system safety program requirements to the specific project. The SSMP establishes management policies and responsibilities for the execution of the system safety effort. The SSMP should be written so design system safety tasks and activity outputs contribute to timely project decisions. Evaluation of system safety project progress will be in accordance with the SSMP. The minimum elements of the SSMP are as follows:

  1. Establishment of project risk acceptance criteria based on consideration of the user’s recommendations. The acceptable level of risk in a facility is an expression of the severity and frequency of a mishap type that the using organization is willing to accept during the operational life of the facility. This is a function of the mission. For instance, the goal is to identify all hazards and to eliminate those exceeding the defined level of acceptable risk. While this is not always possible, the analysis conducted will provide the information upon which to base risk acceptance decisions.
  2. A specific listing of all tasks, including hazard analyses, which are a part of the design system safety effort; designation of the responsible parties for each task. Optional tasks should be designated as such, listing the conditions which would initiate these tasks.
  3. Establishment of a system safety milestone schedule, keeping in mind that the purpose of the hazard analysis is to beneficially impact the design and that, therefore, early completion of these analyses is vital. The schedule for analysis completion must complement the overall design effort.
  4. Establishment of procedures for hazard tracking and for obtaining and documenting residual risk acceptance decisions.
  5. Outline of procedures for documenting and submitting significant safety data as lessons learned.
  6. Establishment of procedures for evaluating proposed design changes for safety impact during the later stages of design or during construction after other safety analysis is complete.
  7. Establishment of a communication system that will provide timely equipment requirements and hazard data to the facility design. This is necessary when equipment to be installed or utilized within the facility is being developed or procured separately from the facility.

Of course, the SSMP must give consideration to overall project time constraints, manpower availability, and monetary resources. For example, the degree of system safety effort expended will depend on whether the project is replacing an existing facility, creating a new facility, involves new technology, or is based on standard designs. The options for hazard analyses are many, and project managers will need additional guidance for deciding which ones to select.

Source: USAF System Safety Handbook.

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