Hazard Risk Characterization
This chapter introduces the general subject of hazard risk assessment and analysis, including cause–consequence risk evaluation. The cause–consequence aspect is perhaps the key to understanding hazard risk. The risk assessment is a judgment of the probability and severity of consequences based on the history of previous incidents, local experience, and the best available current technological information. The chapter addresses the following topics: risk characterization, public perception of risk, risk communication, cause–consequence analysis, qualitative hazard risk assessment, uncertainties/limitations, and quantitative hazard risk assessment. Risk characterization estimates the risk associated with a process under investigation. Environmental and hazard risk communication is one of the more important problems that industry faces. There are two major categories of risk: nonfixable and fixable. Cause–consequence analysis attempts to characterize the effects resulting from an accident/event and the impact of these effects on individuals, the environment, and property.