In 2015, the pipeline industry completed the development of a framework for Pipeline Safety Management System (Pipeline SMS) designed specifically for pipeline operators. Created at the recommendation of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), this American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) was developed by pipeline operators, for pipeline operators.
API RP 1173 is the culmination of a two year effort by pipeline operators, state and federal regulators, and other engaged stakeholders collaborating to advance to the goal of zero incidents. Along with ensuring that safety is the top priority, the document has been recognized by both NTSB and the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) for the positive contribution it has made in furthering safe operations throughout the industry.
- Be proactive.
- Document procedures and require strict adherence.
- Treat operator errors as system deficiencies and not as reasons to punish and intimidate.
- Require senior company management to commit.
- Identify personnel responsible for safety initiatives and oversight.
- Implement a non-punitive method for employees to report safety hazards.
- Continuously identify and address risks in all aspects of operations.
- Provide safety assurance by regularly evaluating operations to identify and address risks.