This paper reviews risk-based approaches to assessing the risk acceptability and cost-effectiveness of protective measures for infrastructure. The paper describes three risk acceptance criteria based on fatality risks, failure probabilities and net benefit assessment. These criteria can be applied to any item of infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, dams, offshore platforms, etc. and also applies to any manmade or natural hazard such as earthquakes, cyclones, terrorism, floods and so on. The decision support framework accompanying these risk acceptance criteria considers hazard and threat probabilities, value of human life, physical and indirect damages, risk reduction and protective measure costs. This has specific utility for the safety and economical design and assessment of new and existing protective structures against shock and impact loading. Risk assessments are conducted for a bridge over an inland waterway where the hazard is ship impact and a building subject to terrorist attack. The illustrative examples showed under what combination of risk reduction, and fatality and damage costs the fatality and failure risks would be acceptable, and when protective measures would be cost-effective.
International Journal of Protective Structures Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 23-40