Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
273 On the Use of Cost-Benefit Analyses and the Cautionary Principle in Safety Management (PSAM-0021)
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- Ris (Zotero)
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Many safety people and safety standards consider cost-benefit analysis as the proper framework for evaluation of safety in projects. The cost-benefit analysis is seen as a rational way of balancing safety, costs and other concerns. However, the rationale for such a view is based on an attitude to risks and uncertainties which is risk neutral and is in conflict with a fundamental principle of investments in safety; the use of the cautionary principle. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to this conflict and show that safety measures need to be evaluated in a broader context than cost-benefit analyses. A rationale for safety management should be based on an overall evaluation of risk rather than the results carried out from a cost-benefit analysis.