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Measuring consequences

Tightrope walking

Risk benefit analysis

It is wrong to put anyone in a dangerous situation unless the benefits that result are greater than the risks they run. To justify an action on ethical grounds the risks have to be weighed against the benefits. This process, risk-benefit analysis, is consequential ethics in action.

Professional analysts estimate risks in terms of mathematical probabilities and balance these against benefits.  Public opinion tends to be more concerned about who bears the risk and who reaps the benefits.

People are willing to go skiing although they know there is a risk of having an accident.  The same people would find this level of risk intolerable if it applied to an industrial accident at work.  Why do you think this is?

For help see Will it happen to me?

The risk can be to the environment or to people.  Workers and researchers in many areas of physics (engineering, energy, transport, medical physics, space and others) face particular risks. Air crew and airline pilots are an example, they are at risk from radiation.

What if your job is hazardous?

Ethics Toolkit: Bias

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NOT RATED barbara 04-12-08 13:44
this is amazing!