Re: [SystemSafety] WG: words you cannot use at GM

From: Mike Rothon < >
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 16:50:26 +0100

On 22/05/2014 13:46, Peter Bernard Ladkin wrote:
> On 2014-05-22 14:31 , Nancy Leveson wrote:
>> I think saying that "acceptably safe" is safe is a ridiculous definition.
> Nevertheless, it is de rigeur in Europe. The UK Health and Safety Executive says that is how it
> judges, with "acceptably safe" usually meaning a one in a million elevated chance of dying:

Sorry to be pedantic, but I think that the HSE paper you linked discusses 'acceptable risk' rather than 'acceptably safe'.

Although perhaps synonymous, I think the HSE choose wisely because the concept of risk as a continuum from 'horrendously unacceptable risk' to 'nicely comfortable risk' is relatively intuitive. Rightly or wrongly, in UK general parlance 'safe' conveys something more black and white, most people would say it is either safe to cross the road or it isn't.

However I have certainly used 'acceptably safe' in the past to mean acceptable risk (where 'acceptable' is defined) and probably will do so in the future - purely because it is de rigeur as you say.


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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Thu May 22 2014 - 17:50:42 CEST

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