A place where the word "safety" takes on significant meaning is in the world of fume hoods and laboratory ventilation systems. Here, safety can mean the difference between life and death. In this specialized sphere, researchers rely on engineers to design safe systems that will contain carcinogenic, radioactive, biological, or flammable fumes, while engineers rely on researchers to use the equipment safely and properly. A weak link on either side can mean sick researchers and/or engineers in court.
While a researcher's work practices are a bit out of an engineer's control (although education of endusers is a must), there are many points an engineer must consider to ensure a laboratory ventilation and fume hood system is doing its job and containing harmful material. It seems as if the concept of containment would be unambiguous; however, there is much debate over just what makes a system safe.