Process Safety and Environmental Protection vol:92 issue:6 pages:779-788
A tool (called CESMA) was developed to carry out cost–benefit analyses and cost-effectiveness analyses of prevention investments for avoiding major accidents. A wide variety of parameters necessary to calculate both the costs of the considered preventive measures and the benefits related with the avoidance of accidents were identified in the research. The benefits are determined by estimating the difference in (hypothetical) major accident costs without and with the implementation of a preventive measure. As many relevant costs and benefits as possible were included into the tool, based on literature and expert opinion, in order to be able to deliver an all-embracing cost–benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis to assist in the investment decision process. Because major accidents are related to extremely low frequencies, the tool takes the uncertainty of the unwanted occurrence of a major accident into account through the usage of a so-called ‘disproportion factor’. Compared with existing software, the CESMA tool is innovative by striving for an as-accurate-as-possible picture of costs and benefits of major accident prevention, and taking the uncertainties accompanying disastrous events into consideration. Furthermore, an illustrative example of CESMA is presented in the paper.