"SMS" vs "Risk Assessment"

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Return to AS/NZS 2885.6 Pipeline Safety Management


Q: What is the difference between "Risk Assessment" and "Safety Management Study (SMS)"?


(Jeff Jones):

A Safety Management Study (SMS) is a comprehensive and structured process defined in AS2885.6 to examine the threats to a pipeline system relevant to the life-cycle SMS being undertaken. Whereas a Risk Assessment is a key component of the SMS applied when threats are not controlled and require risk evaluation & further treatment (to achieve ALARP). Also refer Part 0 definition for SMS & Risk Assessment.


(Susan Jaques):

Risk assessment is one part of the overall Pipeline Safety Management approach described in AS2885.6.

And as according to AS2885.0 defined terms:

  • Safety management process (paraphrased): identify the threats, control the threats, and if necessary, undertake assessment and treatment of residual risks (i.e., risk assessment, but only where threats are not considered controlled).
  • Safety management study (paraphrased): application of the process on a particular pipeline at a particular time.
  • Facilitated workshop (not 'the SMS') (and not a defined term): review and validation in a group setting of the work done for the (already completed) SMS.
  • Risk assessment (paraphrased): systematic assessment of likelihood and consequences, to AS 31000.