Operating plant and safety management systems

Safety management systems (SMSs) are an integral part of ensuring the safety of petroleum and gas facilities and activities.

An SMS is a group of auditable documents working as a system to manage safety risks at operating plant. SMSs were formerly referred to as safety management plans (SMPs).

SMSs are developed, maintained and used by the industry in the course of their business, and are required for all operating plant as defined under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (see below).

Operators are responsible for ensuring that an SMS is in place that addresses the requirements of the Act (e.g. 675) and is relevant to the operating plant and its stage (e.g. commissioning, operations).

While some operators may have a generic SMS that is suitable for their operating plant, a specific SMS is required if the complexity of the plant or the particular risks are not effectively managed by the generic SMS. In either case, the operator must have a document indexing and providing guidance about the relevant SMS components available for inspection at the operating plant.

Definition of 'operating plant'

The Guideline for operating plant (PDF, 976KB) explains what activities and plant fall under the definition of 'operating plant' and the requirements for operating plant under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

You can also read the extract of definitions from the legislation (compiled August 2015) (PDF, 33KB).

Meeting your SMS legislative obligations

SafeOP guide and self-audit tool for petroleum and gas operating plant

The SafeOP guide explains how operators of operating plant can meet their legislative obligations for SMSs. The self-audit tool will help you review your current system and ensure it complies with the legislation.

If you have any suggestions about improving these documents, please email gassafe@dnrm.qld.gov.au.

LPG delivery network operations

The following templates and guides have been prepared to help operators of LPG networks meet their safety obligations.

Gas-fuelled theatrical or other special effects

This guideline explains how operators of gas-fuelled theatrical or other special effects can ensure compliance and minimise risks.

Plant or equipment installation compliance certificate

Installers of plant or equipment that require a safety requirement at an operating plant must certify that the installation complies with the safety requirement. The installation can only be certified by a person who has been assessed under the SMS as competent to carry out the installation.

A copy of the certificate must be given to the owner, operator or proposed operator before making the plant or equipment operational. Use the online form below to request a certificate which will be issued specifically for the plant or equipment listed and include a unique certificate number.

Request a compliance certificate

Exemptions from additional SMS content requirements

Under certain circumstances, holders of petroleum resource authorities may be exempted from some additional SMS requirements that apply to ensure the plant activities do not adversely impact the safe and efficient mining (or future mining) of coal. To apply, complete the Application for section 389 exemption from SMS content requirements (PDF, 78KB). Post the completed form and supporting documents to the Chief Inspector, Petroleum and Gas, or email gassafe@dnrm.qld.gov.au .

Exemptions related to coal mining

Chapter 3, Part 4 of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004 allows for exemptions from certain safety requirements in relation to coal mining, including the standard abandonment requirements for a well. For details, refer to the legislation and the Application for section 76 exemption from regulations (PDF, 140KB).

More information

For more information, email gassafe@dnrm.qld.gov.au.