White Paper - Costs and Benefits of Process Safety

The traditional approach to the prevention of major accidents has consisted of balancing the potential cost of process accidents with prevention expenditures, as if there were an optimum, an exact proportion that should be committed to the prevention of such events whose probability of occurrence is generally so small that it distorts the proper risk perception within an organization, de-spite regular media coverage of these large industrial disasters.
As the frequency of such events is expressed in one over tens or even hundreds of years, well in excess of a human life or profes-sional career, it is easy to fall into the cognitive bias which involves adopting a fatalistic view of these accidents in the same way as one regards natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.