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System Safety Fundamentals Concept Cloud

Have just updated the safety case module for the system safety course I teach at UNSW. Have revised it to include John Rushby’s approach to determining the soundness and strength of a safety argument (I like his simplification and separation of concerns strategy). Enjoy!


…for my boat is so small and the ocean so huge

For a small close knit community like the submarine service the loss of a boat and it’s crew can strike doubly hard. The USN’s response to this disaster, was both effective and long lasting. Doubly impressive given it was implemented at the height of the Cold War. As part of the course that I teach on system safety I use the Thresher as an important case study in organisational failure, and recovery.


The RAN’s Collins class Subsafe program derived it’s strategic principles in large measure from the USNs original program. The successful recovery of HMAS Dechaineux from a flooding incident at depth illustrates the success of both the RANs Subsafe program and also its antecedent.

For those interested, here’s a draft of the ‘Fundamentals of system safety‘ module from a course that I teach on system safety. Of course if you want the full effect, you’ll just have to come along. 🙂

In June of last year I gave a short three day course on system safety at UNSW@Canberra, and this year they’ve asked me back to run it again!

Anyone who wants a good understanding of the theory and practice of system safety and how to manage safety risk, as well as an overview of modern risk theory, would find the course of interest and, I hope, useful.

There’s currently planned two course dates. The first is the original three day form, for those of us who are time poor, while the second is five days. Dates are as follows:

  1. 16-18 Jun  – 3 day short course.
  2. 14-18 July – 5 day course.
Look forward to seeing you there. 🙂