Keywords: risk acceptance criteria, risk acceptability, risk analysis, decision-making, uncertainty, tolerability criteria, risk control, risk evaluation, general formulations, tailor-made criteria, value generation, risk assessments, Holland, Netherlands, flood safety, flooding, major hazards, government policies, Norway, petroleum industry, flood defences, business continuity, risk management
Propositions for using risk acceptance criteria
Risk acceptance and tolerability criteria are tools that are used to evaluate and control risks. Although such criteria have been used for many years in different sectors of applications, their rationale and use are still being discussed. Three issues commonly addressed are: 1) the type and form of the criteria (e.g., general formulations compared to tailor-made criteria for specific applications); 2) the criteria's relationship with value generation; 3) methods for and uncertainties in the risk assessments that are used to verify that the criteria are met. In this paper, we take a closer look at these issues. The aim of the paper is to stimulate the ongoing debate about the applications of risk criteria. A number of propositions is presented that are based on three case-studies: the use of acceptance and tolerability criteria in the Dutch flood safety policy, the Dutch major hazards policy, and the Norwegian petroleum industry.