The factor of safety (FoS), also known as (and used interchangeably with) safety factor (SF), is the ratio between the nominal and the design load carrying capacity of a structural member or system.

The factor of safety ensures that the probability of the actual resistance falling below the design resistance is sufficiently low.

The magnitude of the factor of safety is related to the geometric tolerances given in the relevant product standards, together with the consistency of the material mechanical properties produced by different manufacturers.

Structural steel performance mandates safety factors

In structural design, the capacity reduction (safety) factors within design standards are dependent on the performance characteristics of the structural steel.

In order that there is no erosion to the safety margins assumed in design, designers need to ensure that a given product satisfies the conformity requirements of a given product standard and that the particular manufacturer where the steel is sourced continually maintains the performance characteristics of their products through a factory production control system (FPC).

This presentation provides a brief overview of some of the product conformity requirements given in current product standards for structural steel, before considering the different product conformity assessment options that should be considered by designers.


What can we do?

Join us at the Metals Industry Conference 2017 for our #HERAsessions, where our Structural Systems team will provide an overview of options available to New Zealand companies for product conformance.

Update shared by our Manager Information Centre Brian Low