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Natural hazards: a proportionate response

A recent symposium at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which considered those naturally occurring forces against which due provision must be made in design, operations and maintenance of mechanical engineering systems. The means to identify, classify and quantify the risks posed by these ‘natural events’ is necessary to allow for appropriate provision in sufficient and credible defence.

Read more about this event and a summary of the key learning points

Health and Safety Myths

'Health and safety' is often incorrectly used as a convenient excuse to stop what are essentially sensible activities going ahead.

The Health and Safety Executive has set up an independent panel - the Myth Busters Challenge Panel - to scrutinise such decisions. Find out more.

Public consultation on the preliminary opinion concerning Improvement of Risk Assessment in View of the Needs of Risk Managers

In line with its procedures for stakeholder dialogue, published on 15 September 2007, the European Commission is launching a public consultation on the above-mentioned preliminary opinion. The deadline for submission of comments is 21 February 2012. Click here for more information.

Improving future disaster anticipation and resilience

Improving Future Disaster Anticipation and Resilience is a new project investigating how to improve anticipation of and resilience to disasters.

The project will identify actions that could be taken within the next ten years to reduce the impacts of disasters arising from hazards up to 2040. It will call on industry and academic expertise from the UK and explore how emerging science and technology might improve our ability to prepare for and respond to these impacts. Read more about the project

The Science and Technology Committee new inquiry examining risk perception and energy infrastructure

In March 2011, Japan suffered its worst recorded earthquake, followed by a destructive tsunami. This resulted in several explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi power station and major releases of radioactivity. In the UK, the Government responded to nuclear safety concerns by commissioning a review of what lessons could be learnt from the Fukushima accident to enhance the safety of the UK nuclear industry.

The Science and Technology Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry exploring risk assessment, communication, perception and tolerability in relation to energy infrastructure, focusing on nuclear power. Read more.

Global Risks 2012: Seventh Edition

Across every sector of society, decisionmakers are struggling with the complexity and velocity of change in an increasingly interdependent world. The context for decision-making has evolved, and in many cases has been altered in revolutionary ways. In the decade ahead, our lives will be more intensely shaped by transformative forces, including economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological seismic shifts. The signals are already apparent with the rebalancing of the global economy, the presence of over seven billion people and the societal and environmental challenges linked to both. The resulting complexity threatens to overwhelm countries, companies, cultures and communities.

We need to explore and develop new conceptual models which address global challenges. It is in this spirit that I present the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2012 report. Now in its seventh edition, the report features more refined risk descriptions and rigorous data analysis covering 50 global risks. It aims to improve public and private sector efforts to map, monitor, manage and mitigate global risks. It is also a “call to action” for the international community to improve current efforts at coordination and collaboration, as none of the global risks highlighted respects national boundaries. This report captures the input of risk leaders in thought and practice, including members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils. It is also underpinned by the support and guidance of all the partners of the Risk Response Network. Underlying all these risks are velocity, multiplicity, and interconnectivity – creating a global system where mastering complexities will be the foremost challenge.

The more complex the system, the greater the risk of systemic breakdown, but also the greater the potential for opportunity. Together, we have the foresight and collaborative spirit to shape our global future and particularly the survival instinct to move from pure urgency-driven risk management to more collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening risk resilience to the benefit of global society.

Download the Global Risks 2012 Report


European Journal of Risk Regulation

The European Journal of Risk Regulation (EJRR) provides a forum for informed discussion on how various risks are regulated across policy domains in Europe. It promotes a dialogue between risk assessors and risk managers involved, at both national and international level, in this contentious and continuously evolving area of law. The central focus of the journal is the European Law and Policy regulating product safety (chemicals, food, pharma), financial, insurance and lifestyle risks (nutrition, alcohol, tobacco) as well as risks emerging from technology and third-party threats such as terrorism. Discussion, however, also extends to other social sciences, such as regulation studies, risk analysis, safety science, political science and sociology.

EJRR brings together representatives from the legal world and other risk regulation stakeholders in one specialised journal striking a balance between the interests of the practitioners, notably those increasingly engaged in regulatory drafting and advice to the industry, and a more theoretical focus, combining normative articles with timely contributions on legislative and judicial developments.

The journal is published quarterly. The table of contents for the current and all previous issues can be found here.

How Risk Averse Are You?

Risk is a very complex subject. We all take risks every day and in virtually every area of our lives. If you can’t predict with absolute certainty what will happen when you make a choice, you are taking a risk.

Whether it’s deciding not to carry an umbrella on a cloudy day, or choosing what type of treatment to have for a potentially life-threatening illness, we all make countless and often complex decisions about risk all the time. Sometimes these decisions can have a major impact on the path our lives take.

Today, researchers all over the world are investigating the many aspects of risk and risk-taking behaviour. Please take part in the Big Risk Test through the BBC. 

Fukushima Daiichi - What Happened When?

This report is a summary and analysis of the live information coming from eleven sources. It records that data where there is a sufficient cross-correlation and subsequent activity to suggest that it is an accurate record.

This will form the basis of future work at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the root causes of events at Fukushima Daiichi and the consequences that may arise.

Also included are explanatory notes about the types of reactors involved, radiation levels and types of radiation.

For more information about the timeline of events and the radiation levels being felt please download the report

If you would like to contribute to further reports on Safety & Reliability events globally, please contact us - srg@imeche.org

Join our safety and reliability LinkedIn group


The Safety and Reliability Group have created a LinkedIn group where members can discuss the latest industry topics, find out about upcoming events and give feedback on what you would like to see from the Group. 


Join today: Join the Safety and Reliability LinkedIn Group 

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