mime221_notes_chapters5_6

mime221_notes_chapters5_6 - Chapter 5: COMMITMENT TO SAFETY...

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Chapter 5: COMMITMENT TO SAFETY Our machine and control systems are vulnerable and can malfunction because of unanticipated circumstances -important to design for proper human-machine interaction whenever human safety is involved Safety and Risk Safety: What may be safe for one person might not be for another - a power saw in the hands of a child is never as safe as it can be in the hands of an adult - Lowrance SAFETY definition: “A thing is safe if its risks are judged to be acceptable.” - Definition is incomplete - We need an objective point of reference outside ourselves that allows us to decide whether our judgments about safety are correct. - Modified defn: “A thing is safe if, were its risks fully known, those risks would be judged acceptable by a reasonable person in light of settled value principles.” - Safety often thought of in terms of degrees and comparisons (ex: fairly safe) - There is a degree to which a person or group, judging on the basis of their settled values, would decide that the risks of something are more or less acceptable in comparison with the risks of some other thing Risks: A thing is not safe if it exposes us to unacceptable risk - Risk is the potential that something unwanted and harmful may occur - “New risks” are new in the sense that: - 1) they are now identifiable - 2) the public’s perception of them has changed Acceptability of risk: - William D. Rowe: “a risk is acceptable when those affected are generally not apprehensive about it” Voluntarism and Control: - John and Ann Smith enjoy riding their motorcycle through tough terrain (“VOLUNTARY RISK”) - They are also exposed to toxic chemical plant waste (not voluntary) - Ppl are much less apprehensive about the risks to which they expose themselves voluntarily than those to which they are exposed involuntarily - Notion of voluntarism connected to the notion of control - It is characteristic for people to become unrealistically confident when they believe hazards to be under their own control Effect of Information on Risk Assessment: - Manner in which information necessary for decision making is presented can greatly influence how risks are perceived
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- Studies show that a change in the manner in which information about a danger is presented can lead to a reversal of preferences about how to deal with the danger. (see example if u want) - Conclusions: - 1) Options perceived as yielding firm gains will tend to be preferred over those from which gains are perceived as risky or only probable. - 2) Options emphasizing firm losses are perceived as probable - “People tend to be more willing to take risks in order to avoid perceived firm losses than they are to win only possible gains” Job-Related Risks: - Many workers take risks on their job in stride - Workers often not told about risks which cannot be perceived (ex. Polluted air) - There are unions and occupational health and safety regulations to protect - Safety standards in workplace generally weaker then safety standards for
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2009 for the course MIME MIME 221 taught by Professor Hassani during the Winter '08 term at McGill.

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mime221_notes_chapters5_6 - Chapter 5: COMMITMENT TO SAFETY...

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