Background

Safety arguments provide a formal demonstration, supported by evidence, that a system is acceptably safe for a given application in a specified environment.

Three challenges exist with safety arguments:

  • Developing systems, equipment and processes that are adequately safe.

  • Providing a sufficient body of evidence that demonstrates safety performance.

  • Framing the argument in a robust and persuasive format that is compliant with the prevailing regulations, standards and expectations of the accepting authority.

A unique perspective

The team at Sotera have been working on safety arguments and safety approval projects since the early 1990s.  This has provided us the opportunity to:

  • Work for approval bodies to help review and approve submissions

  • Experience the evolution of legislation in the UK and Europe and understand what the changes really mean

  • Write documentation and give training in engineering safety management

  • Provide safety arguments for trains, signalling, control rooms, offshore platforms, pipelines and chemical facilities and many more

  • Undertake peer review.

Our depth and breadth of experience in this areas makes us well placed to meeting the current and future challenges. 

Those first steps

Every safety argument presents a portfolio of novel challenges.  Irrespective of the topic and regulations the first steps are the most important and include:

  • Understand the system, product or process in detail and any history.

  • Establish the veracity of any existing safety documentation.

  • Research the approval process and understand the prevailing regulations and standards.

  • Planning a route to approval, including the evidence that is required and how the safety argument is best framed and presented to meet and exceed the requirement of the acceptance process.