A due diligence approach to safety validation by means of SFAIRP

Safety means freedom from unacceptable risk of harm. When an accident happens, the likelihood of the risk is of less interest to the courts, who instead focus on the consequence or severity of harm. The focus is: - what did you do, or neglect to do, that caused the harm; - what did you know or ought to have known about the foreseeabilty of the hazard; - why did you not put sensible control measures in place to prevent the harm; and - how can you justify the reasonableness of your decision. The test of reasonableness is the hardest of these questions and requires establishing a balance between the significance of a risk and the cost and practicality of risk reduction. The test is whether the risks have been reduced ‘So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable’ (SFAIRP). In order to illustrate the issues presented in this paper, a case study is given based on Driverless Train Technology. Whilst the safety issues associated with driverless trains are – to a large degree – the same as for ordinary (manned) trains, there are some important differences with regard to how safety functions performed by a driver will be replicated in a driverless environment. Furthermore societal response is likely to be very different due to the novelty of the technology and, possibly, fear. When faced with such challenges engineers need a clear understanding of what SFAIRP really means.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 7p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Rail - the core of integrated transport: CORE 2012: conference on railway engineering, 7-10 September 2012, Perth, Western Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532145
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 11:57AM