Should safety factors replace probabilistic design?
2011 (English)In: Philosophy and Technology, ISSN 2210-5433, Vol. 24, no 2, 151-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Safety is a concern in almost all branches of engineering. Whereas safety was traditionally introduced by applying safety factors or margins to the calculated maximum load, this approach is increasingly replaced with probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) as a tool for dimensioning safety measures. In this paper, the two approaches are compared in terms of what they aim at and what they can, in fact, achieve. The outcome of this comparison suggests that the two approaches should be seen as complementary rather than mutually exclusive. PRA is particularly useful for priority setting and for the effect evaluation of safety measures; however, in most applications, uncertainties prevent PRA from providing an objective probability of failure or value of damage. Safety factorsare indispensible for dealing with dangers that cannot be assigned meaningful probabilities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 24, no 2, 151-168 p.
PRA, Probabilistic design, Risk, Safety factor, Uncertainty, Vulnerability
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-86243DOI: 10.1007/s13347-010-0003-6ScopusID: 2-s2.0-80052766944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-86243DiVA: diva2:500545
QC 201202152012-02-132012-02-132012-02-15Bibliographically approved