It's a fact. A Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is coming to a town near you. The good news is that LRT systems that follow the American Public Transit Associations (APTA) Systems Safety Program Plan Standards and use the guidelines contained in their Moving People Safely, Third Edition will likely have conducted systems safety certification long before you purchase a ticket to ride. Systems safety certification, whose primary objective is to assure that established systems safety requirements are achieved and the system is safe for revenue service, is a key element of a Systems Safety Program Plan (SSPP) for LRT start-ups. LRT systems safety activities are all encompassing and include all aspects of the planning, design, acquisition, construction, installation, testing and subsequent ation of the LRT system to ensure the safety and security of passengers, employees, and the general public who come in contact with the system.

However, you do not have to be a safety consultant on a six year, $1 Billion LRT project to use these principles. The same approach and processes are adaptable to fit your capital improvement, equipment acquisition, or process improvement project from conceptual design to end-use. The specifics as to which requirements, standards or specifications and the level of needed detail involved is a function of the type of project and it's associated acceptable risk. No matter what type of complexity your system has the process as outlined in Exhibit 1. Systems Safety Certification Process can help you to verify that:

  • The design, specifications, and / or contract documents properly incorporate applicable systems safety design criteria and standards.

  • Systems safety requirements included in the above are properly incorporated into the final products of construction, installation, and procurement.

  • Operations procedures, planning and training incorporate systems safety requirements.

The following pages will describe the structured certification process illustrated in Exhibit 1, to establish and confirm compliance with systems safety requirements for a complex project. Those requirements are developed from the identification and analysis of hazards (PHAs & OHAs), applicable codes, standards, design criteria, and in some cases industry best practice where no standards exist. Systems safety certification provides the documentation that these requirements have been met at each stage of the project and certifies that each element or component incorporates systems safety requirements prior to revenue service. Lead by the systems safety manager, a multi-discipline certification review team provides leadership and management of certification activities. The assumption here is that your organization is self-certifying. A monitoring process insures early identification of certification elements as well as the collection and storage of back-up data on each of these elements as it becomes avail The effective use of this structured systems certification process can and has lead to discovery and correction of design errors or omissions long before the project is complete or in operation.

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