Discussion: Systems Safety Peer Review 2

Provide a classmate review on their discussion topic :

Based upon what you have read so far, the goal of systems safety is to develop a system with an acceptable level of risk. That is all well and good. However, in your opinion, what happens when we take a system, use it for a period of time then change the parameters of how we use it, or if we modify the system with new technology?


Classmate post that you need to post comment/ review on :

Systems are initially designed to follow a precise set of stages and for a set lifecycle. Systems’ lifecycle has five distinct stages: Conceptual, Development/Test, Production, Operation, and Disposal (Ericson, 2016). It is important to continually review and refine the system throughout the lifecycle because its operations are constantly changing. For example, when building an aircraft, in the conceptual and development stages, it may appear that a system or subsystem will fit or work properly. However, during the production stage, that system may not fit with other systems or could cause structural damage from its operation. At each stage, all the systems need to be evaluated to ensure they operate congruently.

However, when that system is used for a different operation or the technology is changed there is the need for a full re-evaluation of that system and subsystems. Ideally, before that system is used for a different operation, safety engineers, as well as other groups, should conduct testing and evaluation to ensure that the “new” system operations will not create any unknown risks.

From my personal experience, in the Marine Corps, we rarely altered our systems because I flew on a relatively new aircraft. The changes that we did make, Lockheed Martin came in and did all the modification and testing and provided us with the new safety requirements and operations due to the changes. However, when I then started working for Lockheed Martin directly, I found that changes to systems were nearly constant within the company. Anything that could be repurposed for other uses was immediately completed. This was for more than one reason. First, the costs and possible environmental damages during the decommissioning and disposal stage can bring a negative image to the company if it is not handled perfectly. Repurposing equipment ensures sustainability socially, environmentally, and economically. Additionally, some programs are so costly, such as the F-35 program, that the repurposing of equipment from the F-16 and F-22 programs allows for a more desirable contract to present to the government.

At the same time, some programs are so costly to update that companies never update them. For example, many programs are coded in Fortran and utilize Sun Microsystems computers that have been obsolete for over 20 years and the company has even been defunct for over 10 years. The cost to update and alter the systems including ensuring that safety risks remain the same or can still be mitigated outweighs the need to update them.


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