Pipeline SMS helps operators understand, manage, and continuously improve their safety efforts at any stage of their safety program, at companies from 5 to 5,000 employees.


Equip everyone at your company to identify, address and monitor threats to the safety of company operations.


Enhance safety wherever you are in your pipeline safety program.


The system works for companies from 5 to 5,000 employees.


We provide the framework. You set your targets and craft your strategy.

Learn From Other Operators and Share Information

PIPES (Pipeline Industry Practical Experience Sharing) Portal

Get the Facts

Pipeline SMS at A Glance

“Safe workplaces are most efficient, more productive, and the substantial costs of injuries and occupational illnesses should be significantly reduced by implementing a safety management system.”

- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)


With leadership commitment, the pipeline industry can realize the benefits of continually safe operations.

Who's behind Pipeline SMS

Pipeline SMS is the product of a collaboration between pipeline operators, state and federal regulators, and other engaged stakeholders working towards the goal of zero incidents.

Membership & who can join

Any pipeline company of any size may adopt the Pipeline SMS.

Who has already joined

To date, nearly 98% of liquids pipeline industry barrel miles have committed to Pipeline SMS.


Pipeline operators are committed to improving safety performance and reaching a goal of zero pipeline incidents. Recognizing operators are at different stages of maturity, a flexible road map and suite of tools have been designed to support operators are they launch their efforts and begin the Pipeline SMS journey. Access tools, fact sheets and other Pipeline SMS resources using the Learn page.

Book 1

Book 1

Why a Pipeline SMS Will Benefit Pipeline Safety

Book 1 introduces the values behind a SMS of flexibility, scalability and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle as well as the benefits of establishing a holistic framework to pipeline safety.

Book 2

Book 2

What is a Pipeline SMS?

Book 2 describes the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and its relation to industry-wide pipeline core values of safety, learning from experience, and continuous improvement. This booklet will also describe how each of the essential elements in API RP 1173 will improve safety culture.

Book 3

Book 3

How to Implement a Pipeline SMS

The final installment in the SMS series, Book 3 includes suggestions and guidance for how to build and execute an implementation plan for API RP 1173.


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.