Risks involved in new technologies or arising from novel configurations of old technologies recurrently result in major accidents. For example, the new bioleaching technology to extract nickel from ore was taken into use in Finland in 2008. Later, one of the personnel died as a victim of hydrogen sulfide exposure and there were unplanned releases of process waters that contaminated lakes and rivers. Several risk analyses were performed but none of them considered the local climate and surrounding environmental circumstances. A comprehensive risk assessment process combining the knowledge of different stakeholders, authorities, and citizens would have helped to avoid the sad outcome. A single enterprise has a very clear picture of the risk figure on its own, but is reluctant to reveal commercially sensitive information to others, and even incapable of understanding all the expectations and constraints that the natural and built environments may impose. Only governmental authorities are in a position to form a comprehensive picture of all the risks. This paper presents a new approach for a proactive risk identification method based on collaborative integrated assessment. It states that by implementing this method society is able to utilize the science-based information in an efficient way for managing the emerging technogenic risks.
Part of the book: Risk Assessment