Everything You Need To Know About “System Safety”

August 28, 2017 Dave Weber No Comments


Dod-seal copy


Here’s a link to a free copy of the Department of Defense’s 98-page publication entitled Standard Practice – System Safety (MIL-STD-882E).  Contractors who build things for the United States’ Department of Defense must comply with these system safety standards.  This publication says:

  • This system safety standard practice is a key element of Systems Engineering (SE) that provides a standard, generic method for the identification, classification, and mitigation of hazards.
  • DOD is committed to protecting personnel from accidental death, injury, or occupational illness and safeguarding defense systems, infrastructure, and property from accidental destruction, or damage while executing its mission requirements of national defense. Within mission requirements, the DOD will also ensure that the quality of the environment is protected to the maximum extent practical. Integral to these efforts is the use of a system safety approach to identify hazards and manage the associated risks. A key DOD objective is to expand the use of this system safety methodology to integrate risk management into the overall SE process rather than addressing hazards as operational considerations. It should be used not only by system safety professionals, but also by other functional disciplines such as fire protection engineers, occupational health professionals, and environmental engineers to identify hazards and mitigate risks through the SE process. It is not the intent of this document to make system safety personnel responsible for hazard management in other functional disciplines. However, all functional disciplines using this generic methodology should coordinate their efforts as part of the overall SE process because mitigation measures optimized for only one discipline may create hazards in other disciplines.
  • This system safety standard practice identifies the DOD approach for identifying hazards and assessing and mitigating associated risks encountered in the development, test, production, use, and disposal of defense systems.


This military safety standard is a classic reference on hazard identification and control.  It should be required reading for all: safety students, safety professionals, engineers, and maintenance managers.


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