Safety is an emergent property of a system, dependent on how a system behaves when used, and sustained, in a specific way in a specific environment. Safety management, therefore, should be an integral part of the systems engineering process.
Unfortunately, this is not, universally, the case. Specifically,
• In some highly regulated environments (such as rail, aerospace or medical devices) the safety management process can be an additional layer of process on top of the systems engineering process. This can increase time to market, increase costs and potentially reduce the overall safety of deployed systems.
• In some organizations and sectors, safety management practice lags behind systems engineering practice. The level of effectiveness of safety management practice varies across different sectors and countries.
• Different organizations at different positions in the supply chain can have different perspectives on safety management that can have significant impact on safety, cost and effectiveness.
Increased complexity, driven by increased use of software and automation, systems-of-systems, internet of things, closed loop control and ‘inexpert operators’ is making the safety management challenge harder. In some cases, unsafe systems may be being deployed; in others the inability to demonstrate that systems are safe are limiting the deployment of new types of system. Unless we can address these challenges, we will be unable to deliver the SE Vision 2025.
The purpose of the INCOSE System Safety Working Group (SSWG) is to accelerate the maturity of the practice of system safety engineering as part of the wider systems engineering practice.
The goals of the SSWG are to:
• Understand the state of the art and state of the practice in system safety management in different sectors and geographies
• Understand the implications of the changing nature of systems from a safety perspective
• Understand the overall relationship and coupling between different players in the supply chain, including regulators, asset owner operators and product/service suppliers
• Identify ways to make the practice more effective, efficient and timely
• Build a network of system safety experts, enabling them to share experience
• Collaborate with related external organizations
This WG will address activities relating to best practices for systems safety engineering throughout the systems lifecycle. Including:
• A whole range of system types – including products, services, capabilities and systems of systems
• Practice across multiple sectors
• Perspectives from a range of different players in the supply chain