HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 6/6
apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Safe Enough?
apresher   5/6/2013 11:03:32 AM
NO RATINGS
Excellent, thought provoking post.  It's clear that safety is a critical issue for all of us but how are our expectations set?  Many times, there are additional factors that also come into play. Not alot of easy answers.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Auto deaths
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 10:32:44 AM
At 30,000 deaths per year, we're at about the same raw number of auto deaths in the late 1960s. With a larger population, that shows progress. Even so, if the airline industry experienced one tenth of the number in a year, all planes would be grounded until a solution was found. I'd love to see some pressure on the auto industry to create safer cars.

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Who decides how safe is safe enough?
bob from maine   5/6/2013 9:52:54 AM
Every aspect of power generation has numerous failure mechanisms and each of those has a statistical number of deaths associated with it. The total number of predicted deaths per million from a 9.0 vs an 8.2 earthquake involves more calculations than there are engineers to make them. A trash-to-energy plant I'm familiar with requsted a permit to build and was denied because the predicted number of deaths per million of one of the stack gasses (out of 30 or 40 analyzed)was 4 per million (calculation showed one death wtih a margin of error of +/- 3). The applicant hired a world respected engineering firm to re-evaluate the formula and was able to reduce the margin of error from 3 to 2 (for several hundred thousand dollars) which reduced the prediction to 3 per million which was considered acceptable. It is difficult to separate a statistical model from the individual human lives those models represent.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Makes you wonder...
naperlou   5/6/2013 8:57:04 AM
Chuck, this is an interesting and important question.  We do not design things to be failsafe.  As you point out, that would cost too much.  On the other hand, our whole attitude to risk and human safety is completely bizaire on a societal level.  We get all upset by things like a school shooting, while we drive our cars in a very dangerous fashion.  Go figure. 

Automobiles, on the other hand, are MUCH safer today.  The number you quote is far less than it was when the population was much lower than it is.  There are a number of factors at work here, but the most important is the design of the vehicle. 

Finally, I am reminded of the old Tank McNamara cartoon.  When fans were asked how long they would watch cars go round and round a track (we're talking NASCAR), they answered a few minutes.  When told that there was a possibility someone would die they answered as long as it takes.

<<  <  Page 6/6


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Forget doping. Officials at this yearís Tour de France are looking for a very different form of cheating -- electric motors hidden inside the seat tubes of bicycles.
Through my first-hand experience at MEMS Engineer Forum in Japan, itís clear to me that the IoT is real and that the Japanese are amply prepared for it and are executing on it today.
A new fixings and fastening system for assembling structural, load-bearing composite components promises 54% better adhesion, plus less weight and better mechanical performance than current composite fixing designs.
A cross-disciplinary team of scientists at Harvard University have invented a bionic leaf that can turn solar energy into fuel.
Following in the tracks of the fabled rocket plane programs of the 1940s, NASA engineers are now laying the plans for a new twist on the future of aviation -- a battery-powered airplane.
More:Blogs|News
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course June 28-30:
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service