RISK BENEFIT ANALYSIS:
someone entitled to impose a risk on another in view of a supposed benefit to
the worst case scenarios of persons exposed to maximum risks while they are
reaping only minimum benefits. Are their rights violated? Are they provided
should keep in mind that risks to known persons are perceived differently from
may have no control over grievance redressal.
difficulties in Risk-Benefit Analysis
Both risks and benefits lie in future
discounting of future because the very low present values of cost/benefits do
not give a true picture of future sufferings.
have related uncertainties but difficult to arrive at expected values
benefits accrue to one party and risks to another?
express risks & benefits in a common set of units?
can be expressed in one set of units (deaths on the highway) and benefits in
another (speed of travel)?
Many projects, which are highly beneficial to
the public, have to be safe also. Hence these projects can be justified using
RISK-BENEFIT analysis. In these studies, one should find out.
i) What are the risks involved?
ii) What are the benefits that would accrue?
iii) When would benefits be derived and when risks
have to be faced?
are the ones to be benefited and who are the ones subjected to risk-are they
the same set of people or different. The issue here is not, say, cost-effective
design but it is only cost of risk taking Vs benefit analysis. Engineers should
first recommend the project feasibility based on risk-benefit analysis and once
it is justified, then they may get into cost-effectiveness without increasing
the risk visualized. In all this, engineers should ask themselves this ethical
question: Under what conditions, is someone in society entitled to impose a
risk on someone else on behalf of a supposed benefit to others.‟