Safety and risk: Models and reality

J. Wolfram

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper provides a summary of how engineering safety practices have been built up over many centuries by hard-won experience through trial and error. Because engineers design new structures there was no way of deciding whether a structure was safe so methods had to be devised to increase the factor of safety. Today models are used to test for safety and a Code of Practice has been established to set standards. Reliability theory and risk assessment are used to estimate failure rates and prescriptive and goal-setting regulations have been introduced to reduce the risk of accidents. The paper also discusses how the public perceive risk and how training can be given to reduce accidents and improve safety and reliability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-11
    Number of pages9
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering
    Issue numberE1
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


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