In recent years a safety case seems to have become synonymous with long delays, caused by consultants, aka “brains on sticks” inventing solutions for problems, drawing out assessments and costs spiralling out of control. In some places this is seen as “Yellow Book fever”, or “the English disease”. UK practices seem to be exporting the Yellow Book Philosophy and by putting procedures before brains, through largely unmanaged ISAs as well as processes, in a stifling (legal) framework, which is dominated by fear of litigation and indemnity claims. It is not risk based but risk averse and clearly unsustainable and therefore a threat to the rest of us! It should be possible to produce a “one page safety case” (well, perhaps 10 pages max.) and assess it in two weeks. All it takes is to be clever about it and manage the safety assurance processes well. In essence, any project, any supplier that applies the systems- and safety assurance processes that are now the norm in our industry and documents the efforts they are making adequately anyway, should not need more than ten pages and two weeks to explain all that and convince their Independent Safety Assessor. And by formulating and agreeing a safety case delivery and acceptance strategy up front, we can control the ISA scope and budget without jeopardising their independence. The IET was kind enough to invite me to give a presentation on this topic to the Safety Assurance in Railways 2009 seminar on July 2nd.
The webcast of that presentation is embedded below,
Understanding the ‘English Disease…’
From: Safety Assurance in Railways 2009
2009-07-02 12:00:00.0 Transport Channel
or can be found by following this webcast link to that presentation on the IET website. Regrettably it appears the IET’s webcast software does not work well on Macs