London Branch – The Ethics of Risk Intensity Transfer

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Date(s) - 22/11/2022
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm



London Branch – The Ethics of Risk Intensity Transfer

Safety and Reliability Society in-person and online event, London, UK


As safety professionals we are used to estimating risk, both individual and societal – but we need to start to consider the ethics of risk intensity transfer.

Over the next decades we will embark on many changes within society, such as connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), driverless trains, the hydrogen economy and safer rural roads. We can estimate the risk involved in each of these changes and show that they are acceptably safe. We can even do that by sub-group of affected people.

Do ethics mean that we need to go further and check that each sub-group involved does not see a change in their risk intensity (i.e. its share of the overall risk)? Each sub-group may be safer, but was this achieved by a transfer of risk intensity between sub-groups. Is it ethical to do that? Example might be driverless trains and wheelchair users, CAVs and pedestrians, road capacity and older drivers, digital railways and level crossing users, etc. We can think of many more examples where the total and sub-group risk will decrease but the risk intensity for each sub-group will change.

This multi sector panel will bring together risk experts who will explore possible areas where risk intensity for some sub-groups could be changed, and the ethics of doing so. It will also consider the public acceptability of such risk intensity transfer, as there is evidence that the public do not consider it to be acceptable or ethical – even if the total risk is lower.

Speaking on our panel will be:

  • Ali Chegini (Director of System Safety and Health, RSSB)
  • Emma Conway (Chief Engineer, Kent)
  • James Catmur (Director, JC&A Ltd)
  • Richard Hillman (Principal Engineer for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, HORIBA MIRA)

The meeting will begin at 17:30, for a 18:00 start and will finish by 19:30. We will then continue networking following the usual SaRS tradition, at a local pub. This meeting will also be available by live webinar.

The SaRS National AGM will be held from 17:00 in the same venue. Please see here for details.

For more information about this SaRS event, please visit their website here.

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