Electricity and gas industries will benefit from a new risk-based standard that helps them manage their assets to reduce risk and improve public safety.
Standards New Zealand has published NZS 7901:2014 Electricity and gas industries – Safety management systems for public safety. The standard helps electricity generators, distributors, and owners or operators of gas supply systems to develop and maintain safety management systems for the facilities and equipment they operate. The aim is to prevent harm to the public or property.
Peter Berry, chair of P 7901 committee, says the committee took on board the changing demands on electricity and gas supply industries to manage risks to public safety associated with the presence or operation of their industries’ assets.
‘We’ve updated the standard to include current risk management practices and aligned it with planned reforms to health and safety legislation.’
NZS 7901 now includes a risk-based approach with principles and guidelines from AS/NZS ISO 31000 Risk management – Principles and guidelines. This approach helps operators to assess, manage, and reduce significant risks from electricity and gas supply industry assets.
Documented and audited systems
Operators need to document and monitor their safety management systems to show continuous improvement of safety levels. They also need to have these systems regularly audited by accredited certification bodies.
Developed by the industry
NZS 7901 has been developed by the New Zealand electricity and gas supply industries and other stakeholders.
The committee included representatives from Contact Energy, Electricity Engineers’ Association of New Zealand Inc., Genesis Energy, Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, KiwiRail, Meridian Energy, WorkSafe New Zealand, New Zealand Council of Elders, New Zealand Institute of Safety Management, Orion New Zealand Ltd, Powerco, Telarc SAI Ltd, Transpower New Zealand Ltd, and Vector Ltd.