The safety management profession in engineering was created for the purpose of managing risk through minimizing it to acceptable levels or eliminating it completely. Risk in engineering refers to the probability of occurrence of a failure, and the consequences of the failure. For instance, failure of engineering concepts or designs may result in property damage, injuries, fatalities, and even deaths. The probability of occurrence of failure in engineering is difficult to predict as it could be caused by operator errors, environmental effects, and mechanical failures. Failure emanating from engineering problems can be rare, occasional, or frequent.
Reasons for its Creation
The reason for the creation of the position of a safety manager in engineering is to reduce the frequency of occurrence of failures and to ensure that the consequences of failures do not threaten life or property (Leveson, 2011). The process of safety engineering begins during the early phases of designing a system. Safety managers are charged with the duty of considering, the likely undesirable events that can occur, the conditions that can trigger the occurrence, and to project the accident risk that can be expected from such an occurrence. They then specify the safety mitigation requirements that should be implemented. They may propose changes to in-service products or CAD designs to make the system safer. Their main objective, when making proposals, is to lower the accident risk or to eliminate all potential hazards (Son & Gal, 2011). The main obligation of safety managers is to ensure that a completed existing design is safe. Safety managers participate in the design phase of the project to avoid the expensive costs of correcting significant safety problems during the developmental phase of a project
Safety managers base their safety engineering practice on a proven and proactive approach known as system safety. The approach is applied to critical and complex systems such as air traffic control systems, transportation and rail systems, space crafts, complex weapon systems, and commercial airliners. The approach relies on proven safety techniques and methods to control, eliminate, and prevent risks and hazards through concepts borrowed from collaboration of instrumental product teams across all engineering disciplines (Bos, 2009). The fastest growing sector in the profession is software safety management as most modern engineering systems are now under the control of software systems. Hazard analyses are usually conducted to identify and come up with designs that mitigate potential risks before certification of the system.
The profession was also created to address system maintenance problems. The maintenance aspect of safety engineering focuses on the reliability of systems. Maintenance involves the analysis of potential failures and the determination of maintenance actions that can be taken to minimize risks. The methodology is used...