UK safety law requires that all companies reduce the risk to their employees and the public to a level that is as low as reasonably practical - generally referred to as the principle of ALARP. Should a prosecution be made, the onus on the company being prosecuted is to demonstrate that the risk was reduced so far as was reasonably practicable, not on the prosecutor to prove that the risk was not ALARP. To demonstrate this, the company would need to show that it had identified all credible hazards, assessed them and determined that the effort (in financial terms or otherwise)of reducing the risk would be grossly disproportionate to the benefits obtained.
Sotera helps its clients to manage it risks such that they are demonstrably ALARP in a proactive manner before an accident occurs, through the following:
- Structured identification of credible hazards
- Initial assessment of these hazards to determine which are likely to present a non-negligible risk
- More detailed assessment, quantified if appropriate, of non-negligible risks to determine the degree of risk presented
- Structured identification of options that would reduce the risk
- Assessment of the benefits that would be expected should these options be introduced
- Development of methodologies for cost benefit analysis, taking into account annual discount rate, the elasticity of demand for the service, the damage to the asset and business interruption
- comparison of the benefits with the costs of risk reduction options
- Recommending which, if any, of the options should be implemented in order to reduce the risk to a level that is ALARP.
Such an approach should be integral to a company's safety management process, and is an important component of a Safety Case (should a Safety Case be required).