Pipeline Safety Management Systems Contractor Guidance Published

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 – As a free complement to API Recommended Practice (RP) 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems (SMS), the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Pipeline SMS Industry Team published Pipeline SMS: A Contractor’s Guide to give pipeline contractors and service providers an enhanced understanding of how the scope of their work should be integrated with an operator’s Pipeline SMS.

Contractors are used for many different tasks related to the construction and maintenance of pipelines, and contractors working for pipeline operators must conduct their operations in a safe manner to protect their workers and the communities in which they conduct business.

API RP 1173 requires that operators interact with their contractors and service providers in such a way that promotes safety along their pipelines, and often this engagement between operators and contractors involves a combination of operator and contractor-led safety programs that work together to ensure safe and reliable operations and activities. However, the requirements of API RP 1173 focus on the operators, not the contractors or service providers.

Pipeline SMS: A Contractor’s Guide distills API RP 1173’s 234 requirements down to 56 key requirements where, depending on a contractor or service provider’s scope, operators can focus their collaboration efforts to ensure appropriate alignment with their pipeline SMS.

The goal of providing this Pipeline SMS: A Contractor’s Guide is to ensure that operators and their contractors and service providers are aligned in protecting workers, communities and the environments in which they operate. Contractors, service providers and operators are encouraged to utilize this guide to begin discussions on the appropriate integration of safety programs relevant to pipeline SMS.