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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Legal Research Digest 19: Legal Issues Related to Developing Safety Management Systems and Safety Risk Management at U.S. Airports explores the basics of a safety management systems (SMS); discusses the concept of a “just culture;” highlights efforts to implement SMS at airports and in other industries such as maritime, patient safety, and oil and gas; examines theories under which SMS could lead to increased liability for airports; and provides a review of select state sunshine laws and the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The digest also discusses certain available means of protecting SMS data from disclosure or discovery, and suggests potential strategies for managing legal issues that may arise due to implementation of SMS.

According to the report, Safety Management System (SMS) has been defined as a systematic approach to managing safety not only by proactively conducting safety assessments before there is an incident or accident, but also by having the necessary policies, procedures, organization structure, and accountabilities in place. The four key elements of an SMS are safety policy, risk management, assurance, and promotion.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Legal Issues Related to Developing Safety Management Systems and Safety Risk Management at U.S. Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/22658.

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Publication Info

45 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-25877-7
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/22658

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