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Where it all Started - Summary Report - A Question of Balance

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Right Honorable Tony Blair, commenting on the campaign launch as UK Prime Minister: 'Everything we do in our everyday activity, in our work and leisure involves some element of risk. Risk is an inescapable part of our lives. The challenge for all of us, both within and outside Government is to manage risk in a way which gives us the necessary protection we need without constraining what we do beyond a level that is justified. I very much welcome your conference today as a vital contribution to this debate. I hope that you will enjoy what I am sure will be a very stimulating and productive'.

Public Safety and Risk Management PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 September 2011

Public Safety and Risk Management - David Ball/Laurence Ball-King

‘So many worthwhile activities are banned or rejected in the name of Health and Safety. Everyone should read this book to see that very often these bans are not justified.’ Sir Chris Bonington

"A must-read for those concerned with adventure, enterprise and potential." - Ian Lewis, Campaign for Adventure

‘This book strips away the mysticism and jargon from health
and safety, subjecting it to rational analysis. It shows that safety
precautions always have to be paid for, in money and lost
opportunities, and involve choices which cannot be left to experts
but should concern all members of a democratic society.’
Lord Hoffmann

‘Safety is important, but it is not paramount. This book exposes
the myths and reinstates the choices we have in determining our
lives. Trade-offs are unavoidable. We need to make them with as
much care and understanding as we can muster. Read how.’
John D. Graham, Dean, School of Public and Environmental Affairs,
Indiana University

Over the past decade health and safety has become a major issue of public
interest. There are countless stories of health and safety activities interfering
with public life, preventing some beneficial activity from taking place – even
creating absurd or dangerous situations. On the one hand, risk assessment,
properly conducted, is highly beneficial – it save lives and prevents injuries.
But on the other, it can damage public life. Why has this come about, and
does it have to be like that?

The authors examine the origins of the problem, look critically at the tools
used by safety assessors and their underlying assumptions, and consider
important differences between public life and industry (where the approaches
largely originated). They illuminate the whole with an analysis of legal
requirements, attitudes of stakeholders, and recent research on risk
perception and decision making. The result is a profound and important
analysis of risk and safety culture and a framework for managing public
safety more effectively.

David J. Ball is Professor of Risk Management and Director of the Centre
for Decision Analysis and Risk Management at Middlesex University, UK.
Laurence Ball-King has a Masters degree in risk management and a BA
in economics and politics.

Follow-up to the bestselling The Perception of Risk Risk/Psychology/Sociology
David J. Ball and Laurence Ball-King public safety

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