Safety nonsense

The article below about risk tells us this apparently amazing news; that “as low as” is profoundly different from “as far as”.  Wow, we’d all better get used to SFAIRP rather than ALARP.  Must sign up straight away for legal seminars.

How is it different? My kettle turns itself off when it’s boiled.  Is that feature reducing the risk of a fire “as low as” or “as far as”?  It’s the same thing.

Why do we pretend that irrelevant things like these two ways of saying the same thing are actually important?  Is it a way to avoid the actual work that needs to be done?

Quote: “The Guideline adopts a precautionary approach to demonstrating safety due diligence, meaning that safety risk should be eliminated or reduced so far as is reasonably practicable (SFAIRP) rather than reducing risk to as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP) as encouraged by numerous Australian and international standards and regularly used by many Australian engineers. The Guideline emphasises that attempting to equate SFAIRP and ALARP is naively courageous and will not survive post-event judicial scrutiny.”

About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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3 Responses to Safety nonsense

  1. Rob Long says:

    The safety community continues to struggle with the fallibility and subjectivity of being human. Whatever the words , risk will always remain uncertain and subjective.

  2. Dale Bode says:

    “As far as” just doesn’t make sense to me although I do agree we are toying with semantics. But having two terms which are very similar and could be taken as meaning the same thing contained with an industry’s lexicon is just ridiculous.

  3. john o'meara says:

    The two phrases mean the same thing to me. If there is a legal difference then we would have to be provided with the legal definitions to understand what the difference is.

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