Safety of novel projects, the battle against Murphy's law

R. Schmidt, H. J. Steiger, R. E. Harbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With great pleasure and respect I have accepted the offer to speak in this congress. Medicine was a dream for me sometime ago and my second choice for studies. I remained with my first choice engineering and I am still happy with it; but I never forgot my love and enthusiasm for medicine. My career brought me in contact with many countries and technologies, but the development towards safety management became a dominant trend. At CERN I am a Group Leader in Matters of Safety for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. In the last few years my attention has been increasingly focused on human and institutional safety aspects, besides the technical ones. My paper deals with three major topics: - Safety management at CERN-CMS - Murphy's law and the growing importance of institutional and human factors in safety - Future outlook for safety and conclusions. In the conclusions the commonalities between different technologies become more evident as the importance of the human nature and man's role and enticement to actively and intelligently contribute to safety are presented. Based on experience and references an appeal is launched to pay more attention to the human factor in safety and recognize the rules and regularities of human behaviour in order to better combat Murphy's law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplement
Issue number78
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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