With the advent of European structural Codes, there is a greater emphasis and dependence on partial safety factors as a means of ensuring adequate margins of safety. It is the opinion of the authors, however, that overemphasis on partial safety factors disguises the real risk of failure. Adjustments to partial safety factors affect serviceability and economy, but the existence of gross error in design or construction (or both) presents the greatest risk to public safety.
S. Thorburn and E.W. MacArthur