We all understand that the failure of the shipboard machinery may and will result in avoidable and expensive disasters. Do they occur due to bad design, inadequate maintenance or incorrect operational procedures? Experience shows that a large number of machinery breakdowns occur due to a mistake in operation and maintenance of the alarm systems and protection devices.
Yes, engines, generators, boilers, compressors do break down, sometimes fatally damaged because their alarm systems and protection devices monitoring them have been prevented from working, sometimes deliberately disconnected, sometimes clogged up with paint and forgotten, abandoned without checking for long periods of time.
This, of course, is asking for trouble, when only a little attention by duty engineers could avoid an unforeseen incident resulting in possible injuries to people, machinery breakdowns, upsetting the commercial operation of the vessel, leading to extra work load for ship's personnel. Things can go wrong at any time.