Lecture11 - Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 11: Risk...

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1 Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 11: Risk Communication Reading Material of the Week s MC Bean, Speaking of Risk (From Reading Materials) s P.M.Sandman, Telling Reporters about Risk (From Reading Materials)
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2 Risk Communication •It has been difficult to find common ground between the social world of risk perceptions guided by human experience and the scientists rational ideal of decision-making based on probabilistic thinking •Democratic ideal is that deicisions should be based upon citizen centered values. Democracy and rationaility are often at odds •Both view points should be valued and respected so that mutual ground and understanding can be obtained Risk Communication Audience Awareness • Emphasize information relevant to practical action (will it hurt me, what can be done) • Use clear and plain language and visual aids • Respect the audience and its concerns (their deaths, not statistical deaths) • Seek to inform the audience, not to manipulate (honest of motive) • Listen to their concerns and questions: communication should be two-way
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3 Risk Communication Uncertainty in the Risk Information • Disclose data gaps and areas of disagreement among experts • Convey level of confidence of estimates and scientific uncertainty • From weakness in available data • Assumptions and models used to analyze the data • Sensitivity of estimates to changes in the assumptions or models • Sensitivity of decisions to changes in estimates • Do not confuse scientific uncertainty and policy disagreement Risk Communication Comparing Risks • People do not think in terms of small probabilities • People think in categories: never, rarely, occasionally, often • Risk comparisons inform by making quantitative comparisons with familiar risks • Are the character of comparisons really similar • Are the familiar risks really undestood by audience • Beware of perceived motives if one trivializes risk
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4 How should risk be described? For a chemical facility • Deaths per million people in population • Deaths per million people within 10 miles of facility • Deaths per unit of concentration • Deaths per facility • Deaths per ton of the air-born toxic substance released • Deaths per ton of the air-born toxic substance absorbed • Deaths per ton of chemical produced • Deaths per million dollars of product produced How should risk be described? In general • Total number of deaths/year • Total number of excess deaths in workers lifetimes • Deaths per person exposed • Deaths per person exposed per hour of exposure • Days lost of life expectancy due to exposure • Loss of ability to work
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5 Risk Communication Completeness Complete information base includes • Nature of the risk • Nature of the benefits that might be affected if risk is reduced • Available alternatives • Uncertainty in knowledge about risks and benefits • Management issues Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication • Accept and involve public as a legitimate partner
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2011 for the course ECONOMICS 101 taught by Professor Fernando during the Spring '10 term at Middle East Technical University.

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Lecture11 - Risk Assessment and Management Lecture 11: Risk...

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