Re: [sc] New International Standard - Urgent Action Needed

Re: [sc] New International Standard - Urgent Action Needed

From: Rob Alexander <rda_at_xxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2011 13:42:40 +0100
Message-ID: <4DD11BC0.9040000@xxxxxx>
Peter, all,

On 11/05/2011 07:06, Peter Bernard Ladkin wrote:
> I work on the German national standards committee DKE GK 914 responsible
> for functional safety of E/E/PE devices and systems using them. I
> received today a draft international standard (IEC) on Root Cause
> Failure Analysis (RCFA), with a request for comment as a member of that
> committee. The following is the entire section on "analysis" (one of the
> four words in the name of the technique to be standardised).

A brief comment - I am deeply concerned about the assumption that there
exists a single "root cause" that can be found and corrected. This
flies in the face of decades of safety engineering research establishing 
that many (most?) accidents can only be explained in terms of multiple 
causes, all of which were necessary and none of which were sufficient.


Dr Rob Alexander
Lecturer in High Integrity Systems Engineering
Department of Computer Science
The University of York, Deramore Lane, York, YO10 5GH, UK
Tel: 01904 325474  Fax: 01904 325599
Received on Mon 16 May 2011 - 13:42:40 BST