Safety cases… If you have to

27/06/2012

The development of safety cases for complex safety critical systems

So what is a safety case? The term has achieved an almost quasi-religious status amongst safety practitioners, with it’s fair share of true believers and heretics. But if you’ve been given the job of preparing or reviewing a safety case what’s the next step?

If you’re in that position, here’s a copy of a training module I put together on safety cases, back when I used to run a system safety course. The training module explains what a safety case is, expected content and structure and importantly what the strengths and weaknesses of the technique are. The module also touches on techniques that are useful when preparing safety cases for more complex systems, such as Goal Structuring Notation (GSN), safety case interfaces and modularisation.

I’d point out that I’m not a great believer in safety cases, there’s too much of the narrative fallacy implicit in safer cases as they are currently defined as well as the implicit framing effect of calling them a safety case.