Health, safety and risk in the IET rules of conduct

Examples of specific rules that are relevant to the value of health, safety and risk.

Bye law 29. Persons in any category of membership shall at all times uphold the dignity and reputation of their profession, act with fairness and integrity towards everyone with whom their work is connected, and towards other members and safeguard the public interest in matters of health, safety, the environment and otherwise.

5. Members whose professional advice is not accepted shall take all reasonable steps:

a) to ensure that the person overruling or neglecting that advice is aware of any danger or loss which may ensue; and

b) in appropriate cases, to inform that person’s employers of the potential risks

Sometimes your professional advice will not be taken. This rule states that you must be as open as possible about the risks of ignoring this advice, and crucially to make sure that your advice is heard by the relevant people.

8. Members shall at all times take all reasonable care to limit any danger of death, injury or ill health to any person that may result from their work and the products of their work.

This rule, along with bye law 29, enjoin you to consider the health and safety of those affected by your work, but as with the environment, there is room for interpretation of what is ‘reasonable’ in this context. 

Much as we would like to, it is not always possible to provide absolute assurance of health and safety. Of course, all steps should be taken to minimise risks to health and safety as far as this is possible without jeopardising the viability of a project, but in some cases individual judgement will need to be exercised in balancing very small health and safety risks against public benefit.