Uncertainty in usage of load-carrying systems mainly results from not fully knownloads and strength. This article discusses basic approaches to control uncertainty in usage ofload-carrying systems by passive and active means. An active low damped column system critical to buckling is presented in which a slender column can be stabilised actively by piezo stackactuators at one of its ends only. Uncertainty may be controlled in the active column systemby temporarily enhancing the bearable axial load theoretically up to three times compared to the passive column system in case of critical loading. However, in the implementation of theseapproaches, system-speci c uncertainty may also occur. In numerical examinations it is shown, that small deviations in measured axial loading may increase the active force signi cantly to achieve stabilisation. The increase of applied active force might affect lifetime of the piezo stackactuators and thus the stabilising capability of the active column system.