Risk Reduction

Many safety standards use safety requirements to express how risk will be reduced to produce an acceptably safe system.

Striking early in the life cycle can be done through the various approaches involved in inherent safety, and later in the life cycle through engineering processes such as the application of Safety Integrity Levels (SIL).

Many safety standards place a priority upon the order in which risk reduction is performed, usually preferring elimination above all other approaches. If elimination is not possible, reducing the likelihood of hazards and controlling hazards after they occur is preferred over limiting the damage done if an incident occurs. Many approaches allow training and warning signs only as last resorts. However, rather than rely upon the order of precedence, many safety standards emphasise the application of multiple means of risk reduction, such as layers of protection.


Adequate hazard identification and risk assessment are required to ensure that any risk reduction is both sufficient and necessary.


One important step is to ensure that account is taken of any risk reduction measures regardless of their means of introduction; most systems have many existing safety features before any of them might be formally identified as safety requirements.