The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 49 (1971) > Issues > Issue 7 > Discussion The Economic and Social Factors of Design for Accidental Damage
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Discussion The Economic and Social Factors of Design for Accidental Damage

Mr. H. Hitch: It is our belief in the aircraft industry that we have been involved in perhaps a rather higher measure of innovation over the last few years than other industries. Are we adequately conscious of the implications of this innovation? On the moral issues the main feature of our concern is that we reckon that we have no right to introduce to the general public any new device-I am thinking of an aeroplane-which is less safe than the standard of safety existing at the time. That does not mean, of course, that there is no possibility of innovation, but it does mean that when there is innovation the responsibility for safety and the complete onus of satisfactory operation is on the designer and the manufacturer and to an extent the operator. I understand that your industry splits these functions amongst different organizations. With ours the only split is with the operators. Some battles go on there-the operator blames us and we blame the operator-and, of course, it is always the operator’s fault. (I am a manufacturer!)