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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)

Editor
Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ISBN-10:
0791802442
No. of Pages:
2576
Publisher:
ASME Press
Publication date:
2006

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.

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