Effective March 31, 2001, new Railway Safety Management System Regulations, which will require all federally regulated railway companies to implement safety management systems, came into force across Canada.
“Safety management systems will ensure that railway companies integrate safety into their day-to-day operations, demonstrate their commitment to the safety of employees, passengers and the public, and show their compliance with regulatory requirements, ” said David Collenette, federal Transport Minister.
Safety management systems (SMS) identify and describe operating principles, values, directions and measurable safety targets, and include the development of safety goals, performance targets, policies and procedures, and strategies for risk management.
The regulations will ensure that railway companies establish a formal framework to manage safety, as well as provide Transport Canada with a consistent basis to monitor safety performance. The regulations were designed to be consistent with the operating environment and management style of the railway companies. Transport Canada will monitor compliance with the regulations through auditing and analysis of safety performance indicators.
“These regulations will help the railway companies improve railway safety by reducing fatalities and injuries, property damage, and the impact of accidents on the environment,” said Collenette.