Aspects of Risk Tolerance, Manageable vs. Unmanageable Risks in Relation to Critical Decisions, Perpetuity Projects, Public Opposition

Aspects of Risk Tolerance, Manageable vs. Unmanageable Risks in Relation to Critical Decisions, Perpetuity Projects, Public Opposition

Jan 9th, 2014

Today we discuss Aspects of Risk Tolerance, Manageable vs. Unmanageable Risks in Relation to Critical Decisions, Perpetuity Projects, Public Opposition.

Aspects of Risk Tolerance, Manageable vs. Unmanageable Risks in Relation to Critical Decisions, Perpetuity Projects, Public Opposition

Riskope is writing a paper following this Abstract. In 2014, we will find a suitable Conference in Canada where to publish it.
The paper builds on case studies from prior papers. For example Can We Stop Misrepresenting Reality to the Public and  Factual and Foreseeable Reliability of Tailings Dams and Nuclear Reactors -a Societal Acceptability Perspective.

The paper discusses social acceptability of risk, risk estimates and risk communication. All that in view of new projects world-wide and difficult choices humanity will have to make under demographic and climatic pressure.

Due to space limitation, the first part of the paper considers consequences only in terms of casualties. Risks linked to tailings dams, nuclear reactors and a highway tunnel are compared to well known, previously published acceptability criteria and codes. Then we carry out a comparison of the acceptability of these risks from a quantitative risk evaluation point of view. At the end we show unexpected results. We then briefly focus on some additional cases from the transportation world. The idea is to broaden readers’ view.

Concepts of social risk perception quantification

In order to develop the discussion we illustrate the concept of social perception quantification. This applies to any accident, in any industry, when developing a holistic risk assessment.

We explore the perception gap between societal consequences and factual consequences. It is indeed a significant source of the pervasive mistrust in technical and scientific opinions.

The paper then shows that the selection of the type of consequences and their combination can severely bias the perception of the results. That applies to classic risk assessment application. We suggest a communication strategy. The aim is to convey to clients the correct message when dealing with “societal” consequences of private industry risks.

The second part of the paper discusses monetary losses. In fact it shows the shape of common tolerance thresholds. The concepts developed for human losses apply to physical losses. The functional link between tolerance and manageable vs. Unmanageable risks is exposed and then analyzed to describe how governance and leadership can be damaged without proper risk evaluations, prioritization and a deep understanding of tolerance.

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Category: Consequences, Crisis management, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability

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