Updated SMS Handbook for NSW

By: Amie Hickland

New South Wales will soon have access to the updated Safety Management System (SMS) Handbook

New South Wales will release an updated version of the Safety Management System (SMS) Handbook this year to help operators meet accreditation needs.

Roads and Maritime Services Bus Safety Officer Scott Watson anticipates the updated version of the SMS Handbook will be completed and made available to the public on Roads and Maritime Services website by the end of November. 

"Bus Safety Officers in consultation with the BOAS Working Group, are currently reviewing the document to ensure that the elements included in the SMS have been updated to reflect necessary changes," he says.

Roads and Maritime have established a Bus Operator Accreditation Scheme (BOAS) Working Group which is a joint government/industry committee including Transport for NSW and BusNSW.

The BOAS Working Group reviews mechanisms of the current BOAS documentation and administrative arrangements including the SMS handbook.

Any findings and recommendations made by the Working Group are referred to Roads and Maritime Management for consideration and approval. 

Watson says the SMS is targeted at all bus and coach operators in NSW as they need to have in place a SMS as a condition of their accreditation. 

"This guide is designed to assist accredited bus and coach operators, particularly smaller operators, to develop and implement a SMS that meets these accreditation conditions," he says.

"Bus operators, as employers and providers of public passenger services, also have safety obligations under the NSW Work Health and Safety Act, 2011.

"These obligations are complementary to the requirements of an SMS, and therefore this guide has sought to build upon this critical relationship."

The SMS contains an integrated set of work practices and procedures for monitoring and improving the safety of bus operations.  

It is designed to assist operators to identify risks and to develop procedures to manage those risks. 

"The manual provides leadership and direction for accredited bus operators to ensure they have in place the appropriate systems and tools to reduce or eliminate the possibility or recurrence of bus safety incidents and accidents across NSW," says Watson.

CAPTION: The updated Safety Management System (SMS) Handbook will be released in New South Wales

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