The Safety Case, its Development and Use in the United Kingdom

Inge, J.R. (2007), Equipment Safety Assurance Symposium 2007, Bristol, UK. (ISSC paper republished with minor revisions).


In 1974 the United Kingdom adopted new legislation to govern the health and safety of people in the workplace and those that may be affected by workplace activities. The legislation recognises that good safety management is a matter of balancing the benefits from undertaking an activity and protecting those that might be affected directly or third parties. The legislation requires that the risk of harm be reduced 'so far as is reasonably practicable' and that those managing the risks demonstrate their understanding and adequate management of that risk. It has given rise to a recognised means of assessing risk and demonstrating that there is satisfactory management in place, through the presentation and maintenance of a safety case. This paper shows how different UK industries have developed and adapted the concept and principles of the Safety Case to demonstrate their understanding and management of risks within their business.