Frequently asked questions
A safety management system (SMS) is a comprehensive set of integrated processes and elements that specifies an organisation's arrangements for assuring and improving health and safety.
It sets out methods to manage and coordinate activities and tasks in the organisation so that safety risk arising from the scope of operations is eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonable practicable.
A contemporary SMS is one which is risk-based, evidence-based and user-centred.
We all have a legal and moral duty to manage work health and safety risks for Roads and Maritime Services and those affected by the work we do. This is best achieved through an effective SMS.
We need the OneRMS SMS so we:
- Achieve our safety objectives consistently and systematically across all of our operations
- Meet legislative obligations
- Create a positive safety culture where working safely becomes 'normal behaviour'.
Having an effective SMS strengthens our ability to meet our duty of care to our workers, industry partners and others. It supports our focus is on managing risk and providing assurance on the effectiveness of our risk controls.
We have introduced an updated and improved safety management system (OneRMS SMS) which sets out principles and guidance on how we, in collaboration with our industry partners, effectively manage work health and safety (WHS) risks.
The OneRMS SMS details our minimum standards for effectively managing WHS risks and sets out what is expected from divisions and industry partners to ensure consistency of safe work practices on all our worksites.
The OneRMS SMS is based on better practice approaches to managing WHS risks and extends across the entire supply chain in the project lifecycle – from consigners to designers to builders, maintainers and disposers.
Whether you are a division or an industry partner undertaking work for Roads and Maritime you must demonstrate how your safety management system meets or exceeds our requirements.
Currently our way of managing WHS is fragmented with different sets of documents and tools used by different divisions while some business units are developing new systems. We have improved our existing SMS to:
- Align WHS management processes and practices across the agency under a consistent approach
- Fill in gaps where they exist
- Enhance current processes where opportunities exist.
This is achieved by establishing an overarching framework for the agency that sets expectations and standards (referred to as the OneRMS SMS requirements) on how we, in collaboration with our industry partners, work across Roads and Maritime to reduce our WHS risks. These new requirements are described in the OneRMS SMS manual (PDF, 452Kb).
The frameworks under the OneRMS SMS refer to the high-level processes used by Roads and Maritime to implement the associated system requirements.
We have undergone significant organisational changes over the last few years and as a consequence WHS management must take into account the altered risk context of our delivery-focused agency. This situation presents us with the opportunity to:
- Improve WHS risk management by adopting contemporary best practice
- Drive harmonisation with our industry partners to support future collaborative arrangements
- Achieve additional production, economic and delivery benefits by thinking about health and safety at the planning, design and procurement stages of any project to improve the ability to eliminate hazards or effectively control risks.
- At present, WHS systems vary across the agency. Rather than replacing their existing systems, divisions will align them with the OneRMS SMS requirements, filling in and closing gaps and making enhancements where necessary.
The Transport for NSW safety management system is based on their operational context, which is significantly different from ours. Each agency needs to specifically address their own operational context, risk profile and business needs.
The release of the website signifies the start of the 12 month transition period.
This website allows you to familiarise yourself with our system and documents.
The introduction of an improved safety management system represents change. We encourage open dialogue on how we can work together to achieve our common safety goals.
Our divisions and industry partners under current contracts have until 31 March 2018 to meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements and address any gaps.
Roads and Maritime
- All divisions will need to align with the OneRMS SMS requirements by 31 March 2018
- Industry partners responding to tenders for contracts under the WHS specifications G22 (PDF, 602Kb) and G24 (PDF, 177Kb) will need to meet the specific requirements contained in the tender documents
- Industry partners under current contracts have until 31 March 2018 to assure Roads and Maritime that they meet or exceed our requirements
- Industry partners currently registered: if your registration renewal takes place before 31 March 2018 please contact the Roads and Maritime registration group regarding necessary actions to meet our requirements by 31 March 2018
- Industry partners currently seeking registration: The registration process will include the OneRMS SMS requirements at the completion of the transition period
- Industry partners currently prequalified under the national scheme. There are no additional requirements to achieve prequalification, however at tender you may be required to demonstrate how you intend to meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements.
The key documents under the OneRMS SMS are:
- WHS policy statement (PDF, 1.7Mb) expresses our WHS vision and the principles by which we intend to manage WHS to improve safety performance
- WHS strategy (PDF, 2.9Mb) demonstrates how the policy is implemented throughout the agency
- Frameworks describe the structural elements of the system
- Requirements set out what is expected to effectively facilitate compliance with legislation, industry standards and other business requirements
- Guidance materials set out recommended best practice for meeting the requirements of the policy and frameworks
- Procedures control WHS management processes, including by specifying the way to carry out a task or process and identifying the roles and responsibilities of individuals. Other procedures can be customised to meet divisional or local needs
- Tools assist end-users to implement the higher-level documents.
See OneRMS SMS manual (PDF, 452Kb) for more information
The documentation hierarchy allows the OneRMS SMS to be understood and applied across a variety of operational contexts without being overly prescriptive. Our divisions and industry partners may develop additional guidance material, procedures or tools for their local context. However, these must align to the commitments of the WHS policy statement (PDF, 1.7Mb) and support achievement of the standards for health and safety as set out in the OneRMS SMS frameworks and requirements.
Certain procedures apply to all workplaces to ensure consistency. Other procedures can be customised to meet divisional or local needs.
WHS Partners are supporting the business in undertaking a gap analysis with divisions and branches. Plans will be developed for how divisions can meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements based on the findings.
During the transition period and as part of continuous improvement the OneRMS SMS will continue to be developed. The intention is that contemporary knowledge and learnings from industry and research is integrated and enables us to manage our WHS risks as effectively as possible.
The OneRMS SMS content and structure are complete. See OneRMS SMS manual, frameworks and requirements.
Guidance materials, procedures, tools and templates are available now. Many of these documents are currently under review and will be updated over the next year.
As part of the review and continuous improvement process, regular reviews of the system will identify opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the system, filling in gaps and making enhancements where opportunities exist.
The OneRMS safety management system (OneRMS SMS) describes our updated requirements – taking into account our specific risk context and key priorities. We aim to achieve compliance and beyond with WHS legislation, industry standards and other business requirements.
The OneRMS SMS requirements applicable to industry partners are in Part 4B of the OneRMS SMS manual (PDF, 452Kb). The specific tender requirements will be developed based on the level of risk for the project.
We acknowledge you already have safety management systems in place that are designed to meet your risk exposure and operational requirements. However, we are now placing more emphasis on the specific areas of particular importance to us. We are seeking more assurance about the capability of our industry partners meeting or exceeding the OneRMS SMS requirements.
- If you are an industry partner undertaking work for Roads and Maritime, you must demonstrate how your safety management system meets or exceeds the OneRMS SMS requirements. A self-assessment tool will be made available to assess your system against our requirements
- If you are pre-qualified to work for Roads and Maritime then it is likely that large parts of your system may already meet our requirements, because the OneRMS SMS requirements have been mapped to the FSC audit criteria guidelines and NSW WHS management systems auditing guidelines
- If you are a subcontractor you will need to work towards the system that the principal contractor specifies (the principal contractor's system must meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements). The level of safety risk management should be consistent and apply down the chain from principal contractor to subcontractor to sub-subcontractor.
A self-assessment tool will be made available for all industry partners to assess their system against the OneRMS SMS requirements.
The OneRMS SMS website allows you to familiarise yourself with our system and documents.
The introduction of an improved safety management system represents change. We encourage open dialogue to discuss how we can work together to achieve our common safety goals.
- Industry partners responding to tenders for contracts under the WHS specifications G22 (PDF, 602Kb) and G24 (PDF, 177Kb): will need to meet the specific requirements contained in the tender documents. This may require completing a self-assessment tool in the tender response
- Industry partners under current contracts: have until 31 March 2018 to assure Roads and Maritime that they meet or exceed our OneRMS SMS requirements
- Industry partners currently registered: if your registration renewal takes place before 31 March 2018 please contact the Roads and Maritime registration group regarding necessary actions to meet our OneRMS SMS requirements by 31 March 2018
- Industry partners currently seeking registration: the registration process will include the OneRMS SMS requirements at the completion of the transition period
- Industry partners currently prequalified under the national scheme: there are no additional requirements to achieve prequalification, however at tender you may need to demonstrate how you intend to meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements.
Tender respondents may submit a self-assessment tool when requested in tender as evidence of their capability to meet or exceed the requirements for he OneRMS SMS. This will be reviewed to determine your capability to meet or exceed our requirements.
Due to 'point in time' provisions, new contracts tendered and issued following the release of the OneRMS SMS will need to meet the specific requirements in the tender response and contract. You will have until 31 March 2018 to assure Roads and Maritime that you meet or exceed our requirements.
Investment in safety should be a part of every organisation's commitment to meeting the minimum requirements contained in legislation, standards and codes of practice.
Roads and Maritime has a moral and legal obligation to work with industry partners who best meet our safety requirements. You must be able to demonstrate how your safety management system meets or exceeds our requirements.
You should consider carefully if any changes are required to meet or exceed OneRMS SMS requirements. A self-assessment tool will be made available so that you can clearly understand these requirements. The transition period has been included so that our industry partners can review the applicable OneRMS SMS requirements and plan for any investment or changes that may be required to demonstrate their capability.
If you cannot demonstrate how you meet the OneRMS SMS requirements it would be advisable to contact the Roads and Maritime WHS branch (see Contact us).
The intent is not to change current systems, but to allow you to demonstrate where you meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements, filling in and closing gaps and making enhancements where necessary.
Roads and Maritime defines a critical risk control as:
A control which has a significant impact on the likelihood of a hazardous event occurring. The absence or failure of a critical control significantly raises the risk posed by the hazardous event. A number of factors are considered to assess criticality, these include the control's effectiveness, the control type, the number of hazardous events the control relates to, and if the control is the only effective control for the hazardous event.
Where risks cannot be eliminated, critical controls have been developed in consultation with industry and are included in the OneRMS SMS. Critical controls for the management of the risks are in project specifications.
They do not capture every control that could or should be used in managing hazards and risks. However, the critical controls are considered to be essential elements for reducing the overall risk where it is not possible to eliminate the hazard or risk.
Critical controls may change based on system and technological improvements and as an outcome from assurance activities. Roads and Maritime has ongoing programs to test the effectiveness of critical controls.
Yes. Industry partners undertaking work for Roads and Maritime must demonstrate how their safety management system meets or exceeds our requirements set out in Part 4B of the OneRMS SMS manual (PDF, 452Kb).
As part of our commitment to working in collaboration with you to manage our shared WHS risks we are initially focussing on the key requirements under:
- WHS risk management
- Safety assurance
- Occurrence management and investigations
- Consultation, cooperation and coordination
- Design safety – lifecycle management.
Other standards and requirements may apply depending on the size of your organisation and commensurate with the risk associated with the work that you do with us. The additional requirements will be identified and communicated to you as part of tender documentation or as part of registration for certain types of work or contract values.
The full list of OneRMS requirements are in Part 4A of the OneRMS SMS manual (PDF, 452Kb). You can use these to benchmark your system standards and requirements and develop plans to address any other areas.
The OneRMS SMS website allows you to familiarise yourself with our system and documents. The introduction of an improved safety management system represents change. You have until 31 March 2018 to implement the requirements and address any gaps. We encourage open dialogue to discuss how we can work together to achieve our common safety goals.
Where an industry partner cannot meet or exceed that standard they should identify the controls they do have in place (or innovation) that provide the same or better risk management. Where the industry partner cannot meet the standard this will become a risk that the Roads and Maritime contract team will need to identify and review as part of tender assessment. If the WHS capability of a preferred tenderer is below benchmark it may be possible in contract negotiations to review how best to address the risk.
Duty holders who have common risks are required under the WHS legislation to consult, cooperate and coordinate, and this includes the determination of which system is most applicable.
Where a principal contractor is appointed they will have overall control of the activities on site under their WHS management system. Each person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) should have a system capable of managing their risks. Where a principal contractor is appointed, their system will describe how the site WHS standards will be implemented.
Consultation will help determine what each PCBU needs to do to cooperate and coordinate activities with each other to comply with their duty.
For contracts issued with the G22 (PDF, 602Kb) and G24 (PDF, 177Kb) the principal contractor's system will have demonstrated how they meet or exceed the OneRMS SMS requirements identified in tender documents.
No, it means we are serious about safety and we think we can do better when we work collaboratively. It is essential to understand our risks and our risk controls. If the risk is on a limited scale with a low risk, the effort will be minimal.
However, if you are working on a major project with high risks, we want to be assured that the planning and understanding around those risks and risk controls meets our standards and duty of care as a PCBU. We need assurance that your risk management measures are fit for purpose for our operational environment and risk context.
The integration of the OneRMS SMS requirements into existing processes has been developed to minimise any additional documentation or communication required by industry partners, subcontractors and organisations seeking registration, or responding to tenders.
On our worksites there will be a clear, consistent expectation for safe working requirements, focussing on managing risks. In areas where previous performance has been inconsistent we expect that implementing the requirements in collaboration with you, will achieve a consistent higher level of safety.
Our workforce will be less exposed to risks as we have put an emphasis on planning for safety commencing in design, where elimination and a high level of risk controls can be implemented most effectively. As a consequence workers will not be exposed to certain risks or their exposure will be significantly reduced.
Please send us an email at email@example.com and we will contact you.
WHS risk management
The ASRR contains Roads and Maritime safety risk information and includes known and reasonably foreseeable health and safety risks (hazardous events).
The ASRR is a live register that can change due to external and internal influences. Use the web-link to ensure you are accessing the current version.
The ASRR includes:
- Agency safety risk profile (consequence, likelihood and risk rating) for each identified hazardous event as applied to Roads and Maritime, supply chain and the public
- Bow-tie diagrams identifying contributing factors, consequences and controls. These visually depict the pathway from contributing factors to consequences. You will find details on the contributing factors, consequences, preventative and mitigative controls
- A list of risk controls (critical and non-critical) to effectively manage each hazardous event and their risks.
You can use the ASRR for:
- Accessing information on risk controls to engage workers in safety conversations and interactions to improve workplace safety
- Assurance activities like validating control implementation and effectiveness
- Assessing if sufficient and adequate controls are in place using bow-tie diagrams and the list of risk controls
- Identifying potential future controls.
The ASRR can be shared with Roads and Maritime staff. Roads and Maritime workers can discuss the ASRR with members of the supply chain (including industry partners) as required and risk information may be used in meetings and workshops with industry partners.
However, external parties who would like a copy of the ASRR must submit a request via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ASRR shows the current agency safety risk profile. There will be regular updates to the ASRR as part of our continuous improvement approach to managing risk. We are developing the bow-ties and the critical controls for each hazardous event. We are also validating existing bow-ties. The bow-ties show the date they were published and workshop date were applicable.
The OneRMS SMS News will provide details when the ASRR has been updated.
A bow-tie is a risk modelling tool used at Roads and Maritime to model risk. Bow-ties allow users to visualise the contributing factors and possible consequences of a hazardous event as well as the controls in place to prevent the event from occurring or mitigate the consequence. Watch an animation explaining how bow-tie diagrams work