Graceful failure modes

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Design should be such that the structure does not fail if one piece fails.

Graceful failure is a concept that includes indications of impending failure, partial failure, etc that causes the humans operating the machine to become aware of the problem. Rather than a sudden catastrophic failure that takes people unaware and causes injury and loss of life, graceful failure lets you down easy and allows for recovery.

See Also:

Materials Fatigue Fault Tolerance