A review of the literature pertaining to 'perceived' risk and 'acceptable' risk and the methods used to estimate them
The concept of an acceptable risk is an integral part of modern society. However, when we attempt to determine what an acceptable risk is in a particular situation, we have to consider questions such as 'to whom is the risk acceptable?' and 'where are the likely costs (risks) and benefits likely to fall?'. People's perceptions of risk are an important factor when determining a level of risk (or safety) for a particular activity such as the location of a chemical plant, the building of a bridge, effluent disposal in waterways, hydro fluorocarbon use and the many other hazardous activities that are integral parts of our current way of life. Risks are not new to society. Many risk levels have been reduced considerably as a result of increased technical and scientific knowledge. However, people's perceptions of risk and their tolerance of risk have changed significantly in the past 20-30 years as greater publicity has been given to aspects of risk and failures of technical systems. The expert's credibility has been threatened by incidents and disasters such as Three Mile Island, Flixborough, Windscale and Bhopal. As a result, it has become imperative that experts and decision makers take account of people's perceptions of risk and their ability to tolerate or accept risk. The literature on perceived risk and acceptable risk through a period of very rapid change is examined in this publication Continuing development in this area means that we must continue to monitor techniques for estimating perceived risk and also explore the links with acceptable risk... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsrisk assessment; decision making; risk management; acceptable risk; perceived risk; risk perception
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