THE NATURE OF SAFETY DECISIONS

The meaning of safety is discussed and it is pointed out that the determination of the degree of safety involves measurement of risk and judgement as to the acceptability of that risk. Gauging risk is a matter of probabilities. A risk estimate can assess the overall chance that an untoward event will occur but cannot predict any specific event. Safety has become important in marketing consumer products. The public expect science and technology to be capable of dealing with the problem, but each aspect of safety related work has its costs; society must decide what it wants to pay for and make the required commitment of resoruces. It is suggested that a commitment be made to pursue generic research and standards applicable to entire classes of products and environments; to establish scientificolegal principles adaptable to a variety of decisional situations, and to employ safeguards linked explicitly to major social strategies. There is a need to review the embodiment of the notion of acceptability in such approaches as referenda, adversary hearings, and the Delaney principle.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Academy of Sciences

    2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20418
  • Authors:
    • Lawrance, W W
  • Publication Date: 1976-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-15
  • Serial:
    • News Report
    • Volume: 26
    • Issue Number: 8
    • Publisher: National Research Council
    • ISSN: 0027-8432

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00152974
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1977 12:00AM