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Article

Safe-by-Design in Engineering: An Overview and Comparative Analysis of Engineering Disciplines

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Safety and Security Institute, Delft University of Technology, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
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Athena Institute, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
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Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
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Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University, 6525 XZ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Directorate Environmental Safety and Risks, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, 2515 XP The Hague, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek Clements-Croome
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126329
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
In this paper, we provide an overview of how Safe-by-Design is conceived and applied in practice in a large number of engineering disciplines. We discuss the differences, commonalities, and possibilities for mutual learning found in those practices and identify several ways of putting those disciplinary outlooks in perspective. The considered engineering disciplines in the order of historically grown technologies are construction engineering, chemical engineering, aerospace engineering, urban engineering, software engineering, bio-engineering, nano-engineering, and finally cyber space engineering. Each discipline is briefly introduced, the technology at issue is described, the relevant or dominant hazards are examined, the social challenge(s) are observed, and the relevant developments in the field are described. Within each discipline the risk management strategies, the design principles promoting safety or safety awareness, and associated methods or tools are discussed. Possible dilemmas that the designers in the discipline face are highlighted. Each discipline is concluded by discussing the opportunities and bottlenecks in addressing safety. Commonalities and differences between the engineering disciplines are investigated, specifically on the design strategies for which empirical data have been collected. We argue that Safe-by-Design is best considered as a specific elaboration of Responsible Research and Innovation, with an explicit focus on safety in relation to other important values in engineering such as well-being, sustainability, equity, and affordability. Safe-by-Design provides for an intellectual venue where social science and the humanities (SSH) collaborate on technological developments and innovation by helping to proactively incorporate safety considerations into engineering practices, while navigating between the extremes of technological optimism and disproportionate precaution. As such, Safe-by-Design is also a practical tool for policymakers and risk assessors that helps shape governance arrangements for accommodating and incentivizing safety, while fully acknowledging uncertainty. View Full-Text
Keywords: safe-by-design; secure-by-design; risk-based design; design for values; responsible research and innovation; uncertainty safe-by-design; secure-by-design; risk-based design; design for values; responsible research and innovation; uncertainty
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MDPI and ACS Style

van Gelder, P.; Klaassen, P.; Taebi, B.; Walhout, B.; van Ommen, R.; van de Poel, I.; Robaey, Z.; Asveld, L.; Balkenende, R.; Hollmann, F.; van Kampen, E.J.; Khakzad, N.; Krebbers, R.; de Lange, J.; Pieters, W.; Terwel, K.; Visser, E.; van der Werff, T.; Jung, D. Safe-by-Design in Engineering: An Overview and Comparative Analysis of Engineering Disciplines. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6329. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126329

AMA Style

van Gelder P, Klaassen P, Taebi B, Walhout B, van Ommen R, van de Poel I, Robaey Z, Asveld L, Balkenende R, Hollmann F, van Kampen EJ, Khakzad N, Krebbers R, de Lange J, Pieters W, Terwel K, Visser E, van der Werff T, Jung D. Safe-by-Design in Engineering: An Overview and Comparative Analysis of Engineering Disciplines. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6329. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126329

Chicago/Turabian Style

van Gelder, Pieter, Pim Klaassen, Behnam Taebi, Bart Walhout, Ruud van Ommen, Ibo van de Poel, Zoe Robaey, Lotte Asveld, Ruud Balkenende, Frank Hollmann, Erik Jan van Kampen, Nima Khakzad, Robbert Krebbers, Jos de Lange, Wolter Pieters, Karel Terwel, Eelco Visser, Tiny van der Werff, and Dick Jung. 2021. "Safe-by-Design in Engineering: An Overview and Comparative Analysis of Engineering Disciplines" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6329. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126329

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