Machine Safety

Millennium problem risks control system safety

Concern about the "millennium computer bug" and its implications for safety-related computer control systems prompted the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to commission research last year on the nature and extent of the problem, and ways of tackling it. In the report, Safety and the Year 2000, David Eves, HSE's deputy director general, says, "No one who reads ...

By Staff May 1, 1998

Concern about the “millennium computer bug” and its implications for safety-related computer control systems prompted the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to commission research last year on the nature and extent of the problem, and ways of tackling it. In the report, Safety and the Year 2000 , David Eves, HSE’s deputy director general, says, “No one who reads this report can be left in any doubt that the millennium problem is real, and that the risk of safety-related control systems failing at or around the century date change needs to be taken very seriously.” The report provides users with an effective, structured way of preparing for the millennium, using a risk-based strategy. Mr. Eves says the methodology could also be adopted for dealing with the “date discontinuity” problem in other computer-based systems. He adds HSE is paying close attention to major hazard sites. Copies of the report, listed as ISBN 0 7176 1491 3, can be obtained from HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS; Fax +44 1787 313 995.