Leading indicators are precursors that may lead to an accident or injury. They can be used to monitor the effectiveness of integrity programs and safety management systems before accidents, damages, or failures happen. As leading indicators focus on enhancing performance and reducing the probability of serious accidents, they can compensate for any shortcomings of lagging performance indicators.
PHMSA currently collects three (3) sets of leading indicators:
- Safety-Related Condition Reports (SRCR) PHMSA regulations require operators to submit reports for certain conditions before a leak has actually occurred. However, the regulations include numerous exemptions from reporting. These exemptions reduce the value of SRCR as a performance measure. Pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility operators must submit a SRCR if certain conditions are discovered on a pipeline facility, including:
- general corrosion that has reduced wall thickness beyond acceptable tolerances;
- unintended movement or abnormal loading by environmental causes such as a landslide or earthquake;
- a material defect that impairs the structural integrity or reliability of a LNG facility; or
- any safety-related condition that could cause an imminent hazard.
- Integrity Management (IM) Notifications As gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline operators implement IM programs, they may encounter delays completing defect repairs. Also, operators may wish to modify assessment intervals or use emerging technology not yet recognized in PHMSA regulations. In these situations, operators are required to submit IM notifications to PHMSA.
PHMSA's Pipeline Technical Resources webpages provide more details about Gas Transmission IM notifications and Hazardous Liquid IM notifications. The .zip file in the related links section of this page includes Hazardous Liquid data submitted since 2002 and Gas Transmission data submitted since 2004.