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However safe your design, it will never be safe enough.

How safe is safe enough? And who decides? Last week a London seminar on 'Safety criteria for buildings and bridges' considered these crucial questions and others, and warned there were no easy answers. Speaker after speaker pointed out the inherent paradox at the heart of all deliberations on structural safety - the public perception of risk. High levels of voluntary risk, such as those attached to contact sports, car driving or cigarette smoking, are widely accepted. Involuntary risk ...

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