Conventions to achieve safer design and reduce catastrophic and routine harm to the environment

The Printing House
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings 2009 International Conference on Computer Engineering and Technology, 2009, pp. 564 - 568
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A principle of safe design is that it is preferable for a design to "eliminate"hazards, rather than "manage"them. Some of the principles of safe design appear to be enacted in Australian legislation. In addition, tort law can hold designers liable for harm attributable to their actions and inactions. Designers' desire to avoid litigation most likely serves to curb extreme examples of reckless and harmful unsafe design. However, in many instances, it seems that designers who bring about "routine" harm tend not to be held liable. Nevertheless, when litigation does occur, the court ordinarily asks what a reasonable person in the position of the designer would have foreseen and done. In this context, it is proposed that safe design conventions may play two roles. First, such conventions may serve to influence designers in all countries to appreciate and adopt principles of safe design. Second, such conventions may help to provide courts with guidance as to what is expected of a reasonable person in the position of a designer.
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