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Negligence and the marginal utility of engineering safety

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Addresses modelling liability for legal negligence and the marginal cost of accidents, with special reference to the ageing and maintenance of the components of electric transmission and distribution lines. The methodology, which is based on the formula-tion suggested by Judge Learned Hand, considers the use of a conditional failure distribution related to the age and degradation of a component to define the accident probability. Discusses issues of engineering risk, cost-benefit and limited resources in the context of a "reasonable standard of care" and the common law question of "how safe is safe enough"?
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Keywords: Cost/benefit Analysis; Electrical Engineering; Negligence; Probability; Risk; Safety

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1997

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