• Safety Management Systems (SMS) Program Manager

    Job ID
    # Positions
  • Overview

    About OCTA:


    The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Orange County’s primary transportation agency. It’s our job to develop and deliver transportation solutions to enhance the quality of life and keep Orange County moving. Operating in a 798 square-mile area, we serve more than 3 million residents in 34 cities and unincorporated areas. Our responsibilities extend to all forms of transportation, including bus and paratransit service, Metrolink commuter rail service, planned future rail, including street cars, the 91 Express Lanes Toll Road, freeway, street and road improvement projects, motorist services and regulating taxi operations. OCTA has been recognized for excellence in the public transportation industry by the American Public Transportation Association and has been honored with awards from local and national organizations for our transportation improvements. OCTA’s core values consist of integrity, teamwork/partnership, communication, customer focus, can-do spirit and safety.




    Under limited direction, performs a variety of progressively complex duties related to safety management system (SMS) planning, implementation, and oversight.  Manages all efforts associated with OCTA’s SMS programs and the Authority’s Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP).  Directs and oversees all SMS/PTASP regulatory efforts in accordance with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and local State Safety Oversight (SSO) agencies.


    This is an exempt position in Salary Grade T: Min $96,283.20 – Mid $117,842.40 – Max $139,401.60 annually. The starting salary will be within this range based on qualifications.


    This position will remain open until filled.



    This list is intended to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification and is not designed to be interpreted as an exhaustive listing of all tasks required of employees assigned to this job. 

    • Serves as the subject matter expert and directs all OCTA SMS efforts.
    • Provides guidance and support to divisions/departments in understanding and implementing the Federal Transit Administration requirements for SMS.
    • Represents as the SMS/PTASP subject matter expert requested for activities, meetings, and all program management functions.
    • Communicates information throughout the agency on an ongoing basis as to the status of SMS implementation, SMS management efforts, data trends, risk mitigation efforts, program compliance, and all other SMS-related efforts/issues
    • Acts as a leader in identifying safety management implementation system issues and concerns and addresses these effectively with Authority’s
    • Leads SMS committee efforts and meetings related to PTASP compliance and continuous improvement efforts.
    • Ensures that the Authority’s hazard and risk assessment activities are developed, implemented effectively, and appropriately applied to the continuous improvement process.
    • Leads efforts to study accident hazards and health risks and prescribe the necessary preventive or corrective measures and safety equipment.
    • Gathers, analyzes, and presents statistical data and trends associated with SMS applications
    • Ensures that all departments comply with the configuration management requirements of the Authority’s SMS, including document control.
    • Develops, conducts, and ensures all SMS training requirements.
    • Performs and documents audits, assessments, and inspections as required to ensure compliance with, implementation of, and continuous improvement of the OCTA PTASP and SMS efforts.
    • Models and promotes a positive safety culture through effective communication, leadership, guidance and support.


    Any combination of education or experience equivalent to a bachelor's degree with a minimum of seven years related experience (ten years preferred), in program management, of which three years (five years preferred) reflect direct involvement in a safety management system, quality management system, or environmental management system approach.  Prior experience in regulatory compliance oversight, employee training, data analysis, risk assessment strategies, compliance auditing, preventative and corrective action identification, and hazard mitigation is highly desirable.  A related Master’s degree is desirable.

    Knowledge of: 

    • Project management techniques.
    • Industry practices and regulatory experience with the FTA, CPUC, Cal/OSHA, and Federal OSHA, etc.
    • Newly adopted SMS/PTASP regulations under the FTA and State Safety Oversight (SSO) CPUC.
    • Safety Management System (SMS) development, implementation, and maintenance.
    • Principles of employee protection.
    • Risk assessment processes and mitigation strategies.
    • Corrective and preventative action identification, implementation, and effectiveness assessments.
    • Methods of developing and presenting employee training.
    • Principles and methods of incident investigations, job hazard analyses, hazard mitigation.
    • Statistics and data analysis.
    • Effective communication strategies, principles and techniques of business communication, including written, verbal, and presentation methods.
    • Program review and auditing techniques.
    • Best practices and networking affiliations with regulatory and industry agencies.
    • Computer applications proficiency utilizing desktop software (Office Suite) and database applications including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Access, etc.


    Ability to: 

    • Evaluate regulatory requirements and successfully develop, implement, and maintain programs to ensure compliance.
    • Establish and maintain effective working relationships amongst all levels of the organizations and function as the in-house resource on SMS matters.
    • Conduct effective technical training in applicable SMS/PTASP topics.
    • Develop, implement, and oversee SMS programs in a public agency environment.
    • Collaborate and work effectively with multiple departments and personnel, and to work as a team within own department.
    • Work independently as a SMS program administrator and demonstrate advanced problem-solving skills.
    • Communicate effectively and clearly using both written and verbal communications with employees at all levels in the Authority, including the Executive Office.
    • Prioritize work load and complete projects and assignments with accuracy and timeliness.
    • Organize, analyze, interpret, and clearly explain operation/technical information associated with SMS program compliance.
    • Conduct all business in a professional, collaborative, and respectful manner with both internal and external customers and staff.


    Working Conditions/Physical Activities:


    (The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. OCTA provides reasonable accommodation to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions).

    Positions in this class typically require:

    • Work may be performed in a stressful, fast-paced office environment, depending upon assignment.
    • Requires ability to understand verbal communication and to respond effectively.
    • Positions in this class typically require: Reaching, Fingering, Grasping, Feeling, Talking, Hearing, Seeing, and Repetitive Motions in computer use.


    Compensation and Benefits:


    OCTA offers an attractive compensation and benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision health insurance programs, flex time (may be available), paid sick leave, paid vacation and holidays, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, retirement, deferred compensation plan, educational reimbursement, excellent in-house training programs, free transportation passes for the employee and dependents, wellness and ergonomic programs, and much more.


    OCTA is an equal opportunity employer and will not tolerate discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification or status.

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