IEEE Reliability Society Newsletter Vol. 56, No. 2. May 2010
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Safety or Reliability - Is There a Choice?
One day Workshop, November 30, 2010
Hooke Theatre, Institute of Physics, Portland Place, London, UK
Jointly organised by IEEE, Reliability Society and Systems, Man & Cybernetics (SMC) Society, UK & Republic of Ireland.
Safety is synonymous with freedom from unacceptable levels of harm to people and is a highly desirable property of products, systems, processes or services. However, in view of ever increasing complexity, development and change, safety is often difficult if not sometimes impossible to entirely predict, manage and guarantee. At the same time, rising social awareness and the more stringent legal requirements almost globally demand higher levels of safety performance from products, processes, systems, services and the duty holders. Safety problems are characterised by unintended yet harmful incidents and accidents that apart from acts of nature, are mainly traceable to our shortcomings in concept, design, development, deployment or maintenance of products and services. Safety is heavily regulated and health, safety and welfare of people are under legal protection in most developed countries.
Reliability is synonymous with freedom from unacceptable levels of functional failure that lead to unavailability of products, systems or services. Unlike safety, reliability problems may be characterised by poor design, technology choices inadequate for the intended application or environment, manufacturing errors, faults and poor maintenance. The focal point in reliability is continued functionality of the product or system and the consequences of such failures. Reliability, as yet, is not generally regulated and may be regarded as mainly a commercial decision by duty holders. Nevertheless unacceptable level of failures can affect human health, safety or welfare because of the hazards that can arise, for example by failures of transport - (such as electronics in aircraft, cars and or trains). There have been a number of recalls in recent times and the "Time-bomb" presentation at the recent Reliability OutReach event highlight such hazards
Aims of the Workshop
Safety and reliability are essentially emergent properties of a product, process, system or undertaking. Safety as a duty of care placed on all purveyors of products and services is regulated by law, whereas reliability has been regulated by the market it is no longer solely a commercial choice. Consequently, there are many synergies between the two domains that had been viewed as separate disciplines.
This joint workshop will explore the common grounds between these two essential properties with the help of industrial and academic experts and aim to provide systemic insights into an integrated approach.
Co-Chairs: A G Hessami and Nihal Sinnadurai
Reliability Society UK&RI Chapter Chair: Nihal Sinnadurai email@example.com