“Safety is something that happens between your ears, not what you hold in your hands”


Society is becoming increasingly globalised and more complex, leading to increased risks that are additionally more difficult to manage. Factors such as the novelty of a risk, the visibility of a risk and the timescale within which a risk may have an impact play a role in risk assessment. According to Prof. Dr Ira Helsloot, there has been little study of risk acceptance, in contrast with risk perception. At the Crisislab, he and his team study safety policy, amongst other things, based on the observation that much safety policy is disproportional in the sense that there is insufficient insight into whether account has been taken of the actual costs and benefits.

Safety regulations can be found in the Activities Decree [Activiteitenbesluit], the External Safety (Establishments) Regulation [Regeling externe veiligheid inrichtingen, “Revi”], the External Safety (Establishments) Decree [Besluit externe veiligheid inrichtingen, “Bevi”], the Basic Transport Network in which the transport of hazardous materials is facilitated by hazardous materials transport legislation and regulations, the Fire-Safe Use (Structures) Decree [Besluit brandveilig gebruik bouwwerken], the Major Accidents (Risks) Decree 2015 [Besluit risico’s zware ongevallen 2015, “Brzo 2015”] implementing the EU Seveso III Directive, and PGS [Publication Series on Dangerous Substances] rules for monitoring work safety, environmental safety and fire safety at companies. Land-use planning concerns the storage, production and transport of hazardous substances and the terms ‘vulnerable’ and ‘moderately vulnerable’ properties, as well as the operation of wind turbines and airports.

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