The System Safety Program Plan is one of the most important system safety documents. The SSPP is the foundation for all system safety analyses and demonstrations. The SSPP describes in detail the tasks and activities of system safety management and system safety engineering required to identify, analyze, and mitigate hazards by reducing their associated risks to acceptable levels throughout the system life cycle.
The approved SSPP provides a formal basis of understanding between the contractor and the customer to ensure that adequate consideration is given to safety during all life cycle phases of the program and to establish a formal, disciplined program to achieve the system safety objectives.
HCRQ's services are frequently requested to review and comment on SSPPs.
Sometimes we see Integrated System Safety Program Plans (ISSPP) which are required when we have large complex systems involving multiple subcontractors. In some cases we have distinct plans covering product development, construction, T&C, and O&M. Sometimes there are unique safety plans such as FRA's Railroad Safety Program Plan (RSPP).
It is often the case that too little emphasis is placed on this document. A poorly written SSPP can be and has been very detrimental to both customer and contractor. For one thing, they are an immediate target of the plaintiff's lawyers should an accident occur. Some of our clients can attest to this. The lawyers start with the contents (e.g., its commitments, its non-commitments, its wording), then they will subpoena the people that signed it regardless of where they currently work. Is your signature on an SSPP?
If system safety effort is underway without a solid, defensible SSPP in place, you are in trouble and will pay dearly for this later in the program. This is true even if an SSPP is not required by contract.
One of the particularly sensitive areas of an SSPP is hazard risk assessment and the associated matrix. You would not believe the mess that people have got themselves into in this area.
If your system contains safety-related software, you should have a Software Safety Program Plan (SwSPP) or a software safety section in your SSPP.
Easily 80% of the SSPPs that we have seen, throughout our 30+ years of operation, have had serious flaws and omissions.
Some of the worst we have seen have been in the U.S. and Canada.
- create the SSPP for you,
- provide you with a good SSPP example,
- teach you our comprehensive SSPP webinar,
- provide you with a very comprehensive DID; you won't find a DID of this caliber elsewhere, or
- review and comment on your SSPP before it is issued, trouble starts, and risks escalate (this service is frequently requested).