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Human Reliability State of the Art in the Development of a Simulator Aided Approach to Human Reliability Assessment

he degree to which risks should be controlled is essentially a question of values. Individuals tolerate different levels of risk depending on the benefits they think they will gain from taking the risks. Equally, society’s tolerance of different risks varies dramatically for a whole variety of reasons, some relatively straightforward and amenable to scientific evaluation and others complex expressions of deep-seated, psychological attitudes. This paper sets out criteria which HSE has developed against that background for defining tolerable levels of risks and integrating that in the decision-making process. The criteria accept that risk assessment, more often than not, cannot produce scientific estimates of actual risks but can instead only produce conditional estimates of risks under specified sets of assumptions; that there is generally a need to achieve a balance between risks and costs but equally that there are some risks that cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. The criteria have gained considerable acceptance within industry. It has helped HSE to meet its objective of being an open and transparent organisation by showing how decisions about risks are arrived at, and by letting duty holders understand what is expected of them and what they should expect from the regulator. KEYWORDS Unacceptable risk, tolerable risk, negligible risk, criteria for standard setting