NiSource Inc., one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, has achieved conformance certification for its safety management system (SMS).
The company announced that it has been recognized by LRQA, a leading global provider of professional engineering and technology services, for being certified for conforming to the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 1173 (API RP 1173).
NiSource is only the second energy provider in the world to achieve this distinction, according to a Sept. 22 company statement.
“As one of the first energy providers to be early adopters of SMS, this is a significant milestone for NiSource and it reinforces our commitment to keeping our customers, communities and employees safe each day,” said Bill Jefferson, executive vice president of operations and chief safety officer at NiSource. “This achievement marks an important turning point in NiSource’s safety journey, but we are not done. We are on the right path and remain focused on maturing and enhancing our safety culture, vision and goals.”
Safety management at NiSource and its subsidiaries is an integrated approach to reducing risk, and it provides a framework for the company’s operating model. The goal is to ensure the NiSource organization is focused on operational rigor, continuous improvement and to effectively enable SMS.
“This recognition is one that was earned by the entire NiSource organization, its employees and business partners,” Jefferson added. “As we challenge our thinking and find ways to work better, being certified in SMS is not an end goal, but rather an indicator that we’re on the right path.”
Under the company’s approach to SMS, all NiSource employees are asked to live the “Core 4” behavioral values in their everyday work, which includes:
- Following NiSource processes and procedures.
- Identifying and reporting risks.
- Identifying and proactively taking action to prevent Things that can go wrong.
- Continually improving processes and procedures to protect one another, customers and communities.
The NiSource SMS began in 2020 with a gap assessment review and continued through a series of internal reviews culminating in July 2022 with a team from LRQA conducting assessment field visits at various location across the NiSource footprint.
Following the achievement of becoming certified, LRQA will continue with periodic, ongoing reviews of conformance and continuous improvement to help ensure the company is meeting the requirements of an effective and fully functioning SMS.
Moving forward, NiSource will continue to mature SMS and drive operational excellence through employee feedback, regularly reviewing and assessing progress and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement.
About API RP 1173
API RP 1173*, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, is a recommended practice released by the American Petroleum Institute establishing a pipeline safety management systems (PSMS) framework for organizations that operate hazardous liquids and gas pipelines jurisdictional to the US Department of Transportation.American Petroleum Institute (API), API RP 1173, NiSource, Safety Management Systems (SMS)