A small device is often all that is needed to produce a great effect. Magnifying glasses are simple optical devices which can reveal small details to the human eye. This is due to the magnifying effect of a convex lens which produces a virtual upright image. If the rays of the sun are refracted by such a lens, however, the concentrated light can raise the temperature high enough to ignite flammable material at the focal point.
As can be seen from the magnifying glass, even simple devices can hold a devastating potential for danger if energy is introduced. And the larger and more complex the (especially electrical) device, the greater the potential risks. Industrial plant and complementary installations can be rendered unreliable or even a danger to life and limb through incorrect handling, use with the wrong equipment or improper operation. When products perform as expected, we regard that as normal. We often don't realize what role standards play in improving their quality, safety, reliability, effectiveness and interchangeability.