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System Safety

DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

The application of engineering and management principles, criteria, and techniques to optimize safety within the constraints of operational effectiveness, time, and cost throughout all phases of the system life cycle.

Alternate Definition

The activities apply engineering and management principles, criteria, and techniques to achieve acceptable mishap risk and optimize safety within the constraints of operational effectiveness and suitability, time, and cost throughout all phases of the system life cycle. System safety is regulated by law and by policy. Within the DoD Systems Safety is often managed as part of the larger Environmental, Safety And Occupational Health (ESOH) part of programs. DoD Acquisitions must follow a wide range of laws including: The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. In addition the DoD is subject to state and local environment and safety laws.

General Information

System safety needs to be addressed throughout the acquisition life cycle. It includes hardware and software system safety concerns. It is part of environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) design considerations of systems engineering (SE). The planning for system safety should be correlated to the planning for system security engineering/ program protection. The safety risks should be incorporated and managed under program risk management. Every program regardless of size is required to complete a Programmatic ESOH Evaluation (PESHE). Each program is required to complete a PESHE before mile stone B and update the programs PESHE at each later major program review.  In addition, safety testing must be included in the program Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP), and design for and tests for safety must be included in the Systems Engineering Plan (SEP).
System Safety is one of the most important design considerations in the development of any DoD system.  It is important to note that in the rapid or urgent acquisistion process, there are no provisions to tailor out Systems Safety design, review or test.

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