"1. DUTY OF CARE: Recognise your professional responsibility to the community.
You have a responsibility to the community and to those who might be exposed to a known risk. You have a particular responsibility when forming a judgement about the tolerability of risk.
4. APPROACH: Take a systematic approach to risk issues.
Recognise that risk management should be an integral part of all aspects of professional activity, it should always be conducted systematically and be capable of audit whenever this is possible.
Look for potential hazards and risks associated with your area of work or work‑place, and seek to ensure that they are appropriately addressed.
Balance reliance on codes of practice with project specific risk assessment; be open minded and do not hide behind regulations. Do not exceed your level of competence on risk issues or ask others to do so; seek expert assistance where and when necessary.
5. JUDGEMENT: Use professional judgement and experience.
Judgement is required to match the approach to the nature of the hazard and the level of risk; for example, the approach might vary from a simple assessment to a formal safety assessment.
Uncertainty is a feature of risk management. Be aware of this, and use risk assessment methods as an aid to judgement, not as a substitute for it. Understand that exercising judgement is itself a risk which has to be accepted.
10. PUBLIC AWARENESS: Encourage public understanding of risk issues.
Contribute to public discussion when and where you have the opportunity, so that there can be greater awareness of, and better information available on, major risk issues. Seek to encourage a positive public perception of the role of professionals in the management of risk. Contribute to improving communications on risk issues between your professional body and the community."
Fundamentally, we should not let our personal preferences over-ride our professional responsibilities. And as for not following the consensus view, be very sure that your action in going against a consensus is supportable and defensible. Loss of life, loss of property, serious injury and serious damage to the environment need to be considered in assessing risk.
-------------------------------------------David HopePrincipal ConsultantSkilmar Systems Pty LtdBEAUMONT SAau-------------------------------------------
Imagine that it was possible to create a time lapse video of the changes in the Earth over the last billion years and you ran it at 1000 years a second. The movie would run non-stop for just over eleven and a haf days. Continents would drift, great white ice sheets would rapidly expand and contract from the poles, expanses of green, brown and yellow would expand and contract as green lands turned to desert and vice versa. About four days into the video the Earth would be nearly pure white for a while. Every now an then there would be a flash and the landscape would change dramatically as a result of an asteroid or comet impact, but most of the time there would be a mesmirising cyclic regularlity to the changes. But right at the very last fraction of a second of the film, something wonderful and new and almost impossible happens. Out of nowhere and totally unexpectedly great cities and road networks appear. New lakes appear, small seas disappear. The night side of the planet lights up. Splotches and filaments of light are everywhere. Change is everywhere you look.
Yes we the human technological civilisation have changed the planet, but it is something to wonder at not be alarmed by. Yes some of the changes we've caused are problematic at the moment, but on the whole it is two steps forward, one step back not the other way around.
It is clear to me that however much Science & Technology has contributed to our current problems, it is also the answer to our problems. Science & Technology is our best and possibly only chance going forward.
Yes, we should be designing our marine structures with an eye to possible future changes in sea level, but we should also realise that science and technology is changing everything (not just the climate) at an almost impossibly fast rate and just concentrating on one small part of the change at the expense of the big picture is ... I don't know ... missing the big picture.
Hi Neville, Actually the sun around the earth fallacy was pushed by the church not scientists. Most civilisations (through their educated classes) knew very well about the true motion of the cosmos, think Mayan, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian, Celt, etc. The Christian church sought to limit intellectual/scientific pursuits to maintain their power and place at the top of the wealth and power tree. They were able to get away with it for so long mainly because there was no mainstream/widespread scientific method available. Again this was because it was easier to control ignorant masses so education was limited to a few elites. As soon as the scientific method via the renaissance arrived on the scene followed by the industrial revolution and education for the emerging middle classes the actual facts began to become more accepted and people's lives have improved. For mine I'll stick with the scientists on this one because as an engineer it is my job to manage risks. Climate Change (whatever its cause) is clearly a risk and it is prudent to mitigate against its potential impact. I think your posts miss the point for an engineering forum. Any engineer who works in hydrology and/or flood risk knows the weather patterns are changing and changing rapidly and there is an underlying trend towards more extreme events. This is irrefutable. The question for an engineer is not what is causing this change (there are thousands of highly qualified scientists working on this question) but whether we should do anything about it? if the answer is yes we must mitigate the risk (as is our responsibility) then the question becomes what should we do about it? That's the space I work in. regards,
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