Anticipating Objections to risk assessments

Anticipating Objections to risk assessments is paramount to foster social licence to operate (SLO) and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The first step is to avoid any suspicion of conflict of interest. Indeed, risk assessments should be performed by an independent entity (Brehaut, 2017, UNEP). That is to avoid conflict of interest (Oboni, Zabolotoniuk, 2013) and assuage public concerns. Nevertheless, the proponent of a project might feel vulnerable if that information becomes public. Thus, today we discuss how to help remove…

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Demands for Zero Risk

Oftentimes when explaining risks to Management or the public “Demands for Zero Risk” objection arise. Repeatedly, stakeholders may point out that any “non zero” risk is unacceptable. Indeed, in the aftermath of any recent accident (Samarco, Cadia, Mount Polley) public opinion, regulators, law enforcement agencies and the media vehemently embrace that vision. However, the first reaction should be to declare that goal  as not realistic as any endeavor has intrinsic risks. Indeed, we are exposed to hazards and resulting risks…

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Tailings dam risk communication

Experience shows that successful risk communications always focuses on planned control measures and precautionary actions rather than on risks. Indeed, like in many other fields, actions speak louder than words. Because actions are what matters to the public. Thus, today, we explore our experience in tailings dam risk communication. In mining, oil and gas and other industries, people demand to know what preventative actions are foreseen. That is even if it is claimed that the likelihood of an accident and…

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