A 3-day Designing Safe Systems Course

Course Description  

Systems are unsafe because we design them or manufacture them to be so. Current approaches to product safety miss an opportunity to “design-in safety”. This is because they do not consider safety until a solution   exists at which point the design solution is analysed to see how it can be, or become, unsafe, with any issues addressed through a re-design. While this is obviously a sensible approach, safety can be addressed much  earlier during the requirements phase. The approach is one of understanding how the “problem”, as a set of  interconnected functions, can be potentially unsafe. The knowledge, generated by this safety analysis of the requirements, is used in design phase to select solutions that make these unsafe situations impossible or at least less likely to occur.  

The systems approach to designing safe systems aligns with the classic approaches with the analyses feeding the classic Hazard Analysis, Hazard Logs and Safety Cases. It does require, however, for safety to be integral task of system design and thereby the remit of the design engineer.

This 3-day course is aimed providing attendees with an awareness, understanding, specific knowledge and the application of System Safety concepts, principles and practice that can be employed to design inherently safe systems.  

Who Should Attend?

This course can be taken by anybody who is involved in the design of systems.

Benefits to the Individual and Business

During an intensive three days of teaching and practical ‘hands on’ exercises, participants will be challenged to develop the skills and mind-set that can be applied to any design situation irrespective of context.   

At the end of the course participants will:  

  • be aware of, and understand, the concepts and principles of a systems approach to product safety
  • understand the safety engineering process and how it aligns with systems engineering.
  • have been given an overview of the system safety engineering tool set.
  • have had an opportunity to practise the use of key safety tools, particularly those related to design
  • understand how the safety engineering process and tool output contributes the classic Hazard Analysis and generation of Safety Cases  

Learning Approach

The learning approach is based on the Kolb learning cycle with a significant proportion of the course set aside for exercises to reinforce the learning. Indeed, the course employs a number of small group exercises involving a case study to provide a practical focus for the course which enables the delegates to practise the methodology and tools.  

Course Delivery

The course has been designed for minimum numbers of 8 and maximum of 20 and can be delivered on site or at a suitable venue.  

Course Content  

Day 1  Day 2  Day 3 

Introduction and Delegate expectations

What is safe?

Types of safety

  • Product vs. Health and Safety at Work Why systems safety?
  • Perception and risk 
  • Reasons: The Law and “duty of care”

Classic Safety Engineering

  • Hazards, accidents and risk
  • Heinrich’s Triangle
  • Hazard identification and assessment 
  • Causes: Faults and failures – active and latent conditions
  • “Swiss Cheese” model 
  • Measuring safety
  • Risk management – dealing with un-safety

Safety Engineering

Purpose of safety engineering

  • The basic safety engineering process: Lifecycle Management, Systems Engineering and Safety engineering
  • Opportunities with the extended v model for safety engineering

The Safety Case

  • Purpose of a Safety Case 
  • Issues with Safety Cases 
  • Basic Safety Case content 
  • Constructing safety arguments 
  • Presenting clear arguments
  • Typical safety argument structure
  • Types of safety evidence
  • Hints and tips when developing a Safety Case    

Day 1 Review

A Systems Approach to Safety Engineering

A Systems view of Safety

  • Emergence – desirable and undesirable 
  • System Purpose and Function 
  • Context and constraints 
  • Behaviour – events, patterns and structure

System Unsafety – The causes

  • Element failure
  • Dysfunctional Interactions
  • Variation and Noise

System Safety, Hazards and Risk Hazard Analysis             

  • How to do it
  • Practise Examples

Hazards and Lifecycle Management

  • V-Diagram
  • Lifecycles and Design Reviews

Designing in Safety

  • Traditional vs Systems approach to design and safety
  • Understanding the Systems problem (fully) though functionality
  • Functionality and safety

Understanding un-safety due to Failure

  • Functional Failure Mode and Effects Analysis     

            - How to do it
            - Practise Examples 

  • Root Cause Analysis

            -  Cause and Effects Analysis
                -  How to do it 
                -  Practise Examples

            -  Multiple Cause Analysis
               -  How to do it
               -  Practise Examples  

            -  Fault Tree Analysis 
               -  How to do it  
               -  Practise Examples                 

Day 1 and 2 Review
Understanding unsafety due to Noise
Noise and safety 
  • Parameter- Diagrams 
            -  How to do it 
            -  Practise Examples 
  • What-Why Matrix 

           -  How to do it 
           -  Practise Examples

Understanding un-safety due to Dysfunctional Interactions 

  • Linked Parameter- Diagrams     
  • Functional Modelling and Sensitivity Analysis 

            -  How to do it 
            -  Practise Examples

Designing in Safety
Functions in Designs 

  • Function Means Analysis 

            -  How to do it 
            -  Practise Examples                           

Summary and Close  

Course Costs

The cost of delivering the 3-day course, excluding delivery tutor accommodation and expenses, but including all courseware is £4,500. VAT will apply at the prevailing rate. The course can be tailored to suit individual customer’s operations.

More Information and Contact Details

For more information about the 3-day Systems Safe Systems course or any of our other Systems Engineering courses please contact Dr Stuart Burge on +44 (0) 7803 131614 or sburge@burgehugheswalsh.co.uk.

A printable version of this information can be downloaded here.