This paper discusses intrinsic safety, advocating its embodiment in design artefacts, as the most effective means to reduce hazards and also to reduce costs. At odds with this desirable goal, real-world designs tend to exhibit layering of protective devices to mitigate hazardous side effects of existing features, so introducing unnecessary complexity, and further risk. Barriers to progress in intrinsic safety are addressed, both organizational and psychological. An early report of work in progress describes a case-based approach to inferring intrinsic safety principles, and a consideration of possible tools to modify designers’ existing mental models, and influence their design decisions favourably.

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