Documentation and Communication

Documentation and communication have often received little attention, and training in either is often viewed with scepticism, resulting in phrases such as "a mountain of paperwork" and "it can't fly until the paperwork outweighs the plane".

The safety case is an important piece of documentation for a system which may be safety-critical, but often may not be the best way of communicating the nature of hazards to all stakeholders, and some organisations use a hazard log for this.

Many safety standards provide example sets of documents, but allow for substitutions provided that the documentation requirements are met. These requirements vary from descriptions of the points to be covered in each document to statements that the documentation must be sufficient for the next phase of the safety life cycle.


The Mars Climate Orbiter crash and the Patriot Missile mistiming were both related to poor documentation.


A lack of appropriate communication contributed to the Moura No. 2 mine explosion.


Language is fraught with ambiguities; how do you pronounce Savive? "Sav" as in "savvy", and "ive" as in "Christmas Eve".