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Conclusions

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will, is likely to be short.

Bertrand Russell

This list is a short summary of our current conclusions about safety engineering. Rationale and explanation are not provided here.

bulletThere are no simple solutions. Safe systems require time, effort, and special knowledge and experience.
bulletOur most effective tool for making things safer is simplicity. We must build systems that are intellectually manageable.
bulletComplacency is perhaps the most important risk factor.
bulletSafety and reliability are different -- don't confuse them.
bulletThe safety of software cannot be evaluated by looking at it alone. Safety can be evaluated only in the context of the system in which it operates.
bulletBuilding safety into a system will be more effective than adding protection devices onto a completed design.
bulletBuilding safe software requires changes to the entire software development process.
bulletPlacing all responsibility for safety on human operators does not ensure safety. It merely provides a scapegoat.
bulletOur technology must be used by humans. Human error can be reduced by appropriate design.
bulletThe earlier safety is considered in development, the better the results.
bulletTo prevent accidents, we need to remove root causes.
Concentrating only on technical issues and ignoring managerial and organizational deficiencies will not result in effective safety programs.
bulletSafety is a system problem that can only be solved by experts in different disciplines working together.

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