Reporter 404, 16 June 1997

Safe approach for new centre

A new Centre for Safety Research has been launched with the aim of bringing together experts from all over the University and providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for safety research across a range of subjects.

Areas as varied as food safety, public health, building and fire safety, machine safety, road safety, computer management systems and legal issues will be covered. Through the Centre enquiries will be directed to the appropriate department.

The Centre hopes to develop links with industry to undertake joint projects into safety issues. One project is being undertaken with the Motor Industry Research Association and will explore the possibility of automatically controlling vehicle speed. The Department of Transport has said that this kind of system could significantly reduce the number of accidents and could reduce pollution and improve traffic flow. The project will examine the benefits and disadvantages of this idea.

The Centre Director, Dr Oliver Carsten from the Institute for Transport Studies, says “Safety is a very important issue for both the public and the Government. It is therefore important that research into this area is structured in a way that addresses real safety issues, rather than just responds to the latest crisis in an ad hoc way.

“The new Safety Centre will provide a resource for understanding the background to safety issues and developing appropriate research strategies to deal with them.”

Safety is an area which cross cuts a number of disciplines. The Centre for Safety Research brings together a number of the departments in the University which have experts with an interest in safety. They include Physiology, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Transport, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Human Biology, Psychology, Computer Studies, Fuel and Energy, and Law.

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