The paper demonstrates how the reliability methods can be utilised in order to evaluate safety in geotechnics. Special attention is paid to the so-called reliability based design that can play a useful and complementary role to Eurocode 7. In the first part, a brief review of first- and second-order reliability methods is given. Next, two examples of reliability-based design are demonstrated. The first one is focussed on bearing capacity calculation and is dedicated to comparison with EC7 requirements. The second one analyses a rigid pile subjected to lateral load and is oriented towards working stress design method. In the second part, applications of random field to safety evaluations in geotechnics are addressed. After a short review of the theory a Random Finite Element algorithm to reliability based design of shallow strip foundation is given. Finally, two illustrative examples for cohesive and cohesionless soils are demonstrated.