The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 77 (1999) > Issues > Issue 18 > Discussion on Safety of Structures, and a New Approach to Robustness by Professor A.W. Beeby
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Discussion on Safety of Structures, and a New Approach to Robustness by Professor A.W. Beeby

Dr S. B. Desai (F) (Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions) I congratulate Professor Beeby for drawing the attention of structural engineers to some important problems in the provision of structural safety at a conceptual level. During his presentation, he emphasised that adequate safety factors, adequate robustness, and the avoidance of mistakes, are three independent requirements for the provision of structural safety. However, I am concerned that the following statements in his paper remain open to misinterpretation by engineers: Page 16 (‘Introduction’): ‘Adequate robustness is provided so that the structure can withstand accidents and unforeseen events without suffering damage disproportionate to the cause’. Page 18 (‘Mistakes’): ‘One thing that can be done to limit the consequences of mistakes is to provide “robustness”’