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Safety Management System
Michelle Rust, Director - SMS Asset and Risk Management, NiSource
As part of our SMS implementation, NiSource is focused on: conducting a comprehensive asset assessment; integrating probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) models within its asset classes; assessing leadership capabilities and culture; and enhancing emergency preparedness capabilities, along with other areas. Through SMS, NiSource has identified and will continue to mitigate risk from human error, mechanical systems, and equipment by establishing layers of barriers through processes, redundancies, and enhanced training and operational practices to significantly reduce risk to its customers, communities, and the general public.
Historically, as it relates to asset management, infrastructure replacement and modernization programs primarily identified time dependent threats, based on the age of natural gas and electric related assets, as the highest risk priority. With an additional focus on asset knowledge management work, NiSource has enhanced its holistic approach to risk identification and asset assessments that are inclusive of time dependent, time independent and resident threat factors. To support this, NiSource has implemented PRA models for transmission and distribution pipelines to take a data driven approach to quantify risk and inform proactive mitigation activities. These models consolidate all available data for the respective assets, including spatial information, and enable a more robust analysis of both threats and potential consequences of failure. SMS is a more strategic, systematic and holistic approach to risk management that aligns with our occupational and public safety programs, and provides all employees with the processes and tools to own risk management.