Cliff recession can be an intermittent process, with long periods of little or no erosion separated by rapid and occasionally dramatic landslides, which may remove large sections of cliff in a single event. A risk-based framework for landslide management focuses on the consequences of the hazards and the implications of the management responses.
Coastal cliff instability risk assessment is applicable at a range of levels of detail and different stages in the decision-making process (i.e.
Having assigned figures to both hazard, estimated value and vulnerability, the relative risk was calculated as the product of the three figures, i.e.
This probability of occurrence, or encounter probability, is particularly useful for conveying risk levels over a particular length of time (e.g. This assessment of the probability of significant movement has formed the basis for a pragmatic approach to landslide forecasting by the Isle of Wight Council (McInnes 1996). Assessments of the nature and severity of the reparable damage that could be caused by a landslide event will inevitably rely heavily upon expert judgement. The relationship between voluntary and involuntary risk-taking is as important in hazard management as it is central to the notion of acceptable risk or risk tolerance. Methods of risk reduction through engineering measures, education and provision of information, avoidance of risk, monitoring and research are described elsewhere in this report, in the Study Area descriptions (Chapter 5) and particularly in the associated document 'Managing Ground Instability in Urban Areas -a Guide to Good Practice'.
Finally, EPA scientists integrate the effects and exposure characterizations into a risk characterization that describes the ecological risk from the use of the pesticide or the likelihood of effects on aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants based on varying pesticide use scenarios.
This assessment process combines all the information from the toxicity tests (ecological effects), the exposure information, assumptions, and uncertainties in a way that helps the risk assessor understand the relationships between the ecological effects and the stressors (pesticides) and helps support decision-making. These three phases are described in the following section under Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment. The risk characterization is the final phase in which exposure and ecological effects characterizations are integrated into an overall conclusion (risk estimation). When developing risk characterizations, EPA scientists follow the guidance presented in EPA's Risk Characterization Handbook (PDF) (189 pp, 2.08 MB, About PDF). This framework can be found in EPA's February 1992 report Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment, which was later updated as the Agency's Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment (April 1998).
It is an iterative process for generating hypotheses concerning why ecological effects occurred from human activities.
The problem formulation articulates the purpose and objectives of the risk assessment and defines the problem and regulatory action. An ecological risk assessment tells what happens to a bird, fish, plant or other non-human organism when it is exposed to a stressor, such as a pesticide.
In scientific terms, an ecological risk assessment "evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors" (U.S. In determining whether a pesticide will harm the environment and wildlife, EPA conducts an ecological risk assessment for each pesticide active ingredient and major degradation products. In developing its ecological risk assessments, the Office of Pesticide Programs follows the framework that was developed by EPA's Risk Assessment Forum. In this second phase of the risk assessment process, the risk assessors evaluate exposure to stressors (exposure characterization) and the relationship between stressor levels and ecological effects (ecological effects characterization).
The integrated risk characterization includes the assumptions, uncertainties, and strengths and limitations of the analyses.
Within the context of their general obligations, employers have to take the necessary measures for the safety and health protection of workers, including prevention of occupational risks. For preventing occupational accidents and ill health, employers must perform risk assessment regarding safety and health at work, and decide on protective measures to take and, if necessary, on protective equipment to use. Risk assessment, as referred before, is a legal obligation in Europe but it is also a good practice that contributes to keep companies competitive and effective. Risk is the combination of the likelihood of an occurrence of a hazardous event or exposure and the severity of injury or ill health that can be caused by the event or exposure[1]. From a psychosocial perspective risk is defined as the likelihood that psychosocial factors have a hazardous influence on employees’ health through their perceptions and experience and the severity of ill health that can be caused by exposure to them. It is important that employers know where the risks are in their organizations and control them to avoid putting in risk employees, customers and the organization itself. As referred, according to EU legislation employers are responsible for performing risk assessment regarding safety and health at work. Workers participation in the process of occupational safety and health risk management is fundamental, since workers are the actors that best know the OSH problems and the resources involved in their tasks. Risk assessment is the process of evaluation of the risks arising from a hazard, taking into account the adequacy of any existing controls and deciding whether or not the risks is acceptable[1].


Risk evaluation involves the determination of a quantitative or qualitative value for the risk. Qualitative risk evaluation is more common and usually adopts a methodology based on a matrix, for instance the matrix proposed in British Standard 8800[4]. Based on the risk values obtained during the risk evaluation phase, risks should be sorted and ranked according to their severity.
A decision whether or not a risk is acceptable result from the comparison of the obtained risk value with reference values defined in legislation. In this decision process it is advisable to take into account the individuals’ total exposure to risk, allowing for the fact that they could be exposed to risks associated with a number of different hazards[4].
It should be highlighted that a particularly careful assessment of individual risk exposure should be performed to workers of special groups (for example, vulnerable groups such as new or inexperienced workers), or to those most directly involved in the highest risk activities] (i.e. This risk classification is the baseline for selecting safety actions to be implemented and when defining the timescale, i.e. As an example, table 2 depicts a simple risk categorization and the respective guidance to the application of corrective safety measures proposed by[4]. To have a consistent base for all risk assessments the company should first establish the acceptability criteria. Risk control is the stage where the actions to identify and implement safety measures to control risks are performed having in mind the protection of workers’ health and safety, as well as their monitoring over time. It is very important to take account of the number of individuals exposed to the risk when setting priorities and timescales to the implementation of safety control measures. The first step of risk control is the design of the safety control measures to eliminate risks. The risk management process should be reviewed and updated regularly, for instance every year, to ensure that the safety measures implemented are adequate and effective.
This is also a highly recommendable procedure since workplaces are dynamic due to change in equipment, machines, substances or work procedures that could introduce new hazards in the workplace.
The review of the risk management process should consider a variety of types of information and draw them from a number of relevant perspectives (e.g. For instance, Last Minute Risk Assessment (LMRA) is a new tool, adequate to be used in companies where (acute) safety risks are relevant.
Addressing instability problems has always involved some form of risk assessment, although it would have been seldom recognised as such. An important element of hazard assessment is the definition of recession potential, in terms of the nature and size of events that could be expected.
The resulting risk values were rationalised into six relative risk categories to identify those areas requiring priority stabilisation works. This latter point is particularly significant, as a frequent assumption of landslide risk assessment studies is that the historical frequency of landsliding in an area can provide an indication of the future probability of such events.
Assessment of consequences should be based on recession scenarios and scenario components relevant to the particular area. Society is not and cannot be free of risk; it operates within specific levels of tolerance to natural hazards that are defined by both law and common practice. Finlay and Fell (1997) present the results of a study of landslide risk perception in Lillydale Shire, Melbourne, Australia and in Hong Kong. In this phase, the risk assessor compares the levels of exposure (estimated environmental concentrations) expected in the field to those levels that produce toxic effects in laboratory tests. In addition to the risk assessment report, risk managers consider other information, such as social, economic, political, and legal issues, in their decisions. After this phase is completed, risk assessors formally communicate and discuss their results with risk managers.
This could be achieved through a risk management process, which involves risk analysis, risk assessment and risk control practices.
It is advisable that risk assessment should be done at least every year or every time a change is introduced in the workplace, for instance due to the introduction of new work equipment or procedure, or the use of a new chemical substance or preparation. Risk assessment is a dynamic process that allows companies and organizations to put in place a proactive policy for managing occupational risks. According to the BS OHSAS 18001 an acceptable risk is a risk that has been reduced to a level that can be tolerated by the organization having regard to its legal obligations and its own OSH policy[1]. The main goal of risk management is to eliminate or at least to reduce the risks according to the ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principle.
Therefore, the overall responsibility for identifying, assessing and controlling risks at the workplace lies with the employer, who must guarantee that the occupational safety and health (OSH) risk management activities are properly executed.


Several methods to perform risk assessment are available ranging from expert to participatory methodologies and from simple to complex methods. Quantitative risk evaluation requires calculations of the two components of the risk: the probability that the risk will occur, and the severity of the potential consequences.
The safety measures implemented should be the ones that best protect everyone exposed to the risk.
The risks that cannot be avoided or eliminated should be reduced to an acceptable level, i.e. Another reason is that new knowledge regarding risks can emerge; either leading to the need of an intervention or offering new ways of controlling the risk. The European Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) have developed a risk assessment tools database with tools from all over Europe. Every time, before the work is started, workers confirm that there are no acute risks and that normal preventive measures are in place. There are many different methods of risk assessment, from detailed probabilistic analysis to relative risk and observational methods using geomorphology and expert judgement (Fell 1996; Wu et al. Assessing the probability of an event or sequence of events is a major challenge for risk assessment.
A subjective assessment of the probability of landsliding (detachment) in the identified source areas. Multi-criteria assessment; in England and Wales, grant-aided coast protection works are justified on the basis of a combination of technical, environmental and economic criteria (MAFF 1993). 1994) For situations where there is a threat to public safety, issues such as the variable exposure to the risk (e.g.
In order to carry out an effective risk management process, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the legal context, concepts, risk analysis, assessment and control processes and the role played by all involved in the process.
Therefore, risk assessment constitutes the basis for implementation of appropriate preventive measures and, according to the Directive; it must be the starting point of any Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Management system. Risks are estimated according to their likelihood and potential severity of harm, combining the severity and likelihood categories, as shown on table 1.
Documentation should provide an overview of the identified hazards, respective risks and subsequent safety control measures implemented.
The advantage of using risk assessment methods in landslide management is that they offer the potential to quantify the effects of the uncertainty inherent in the landslide process.
Risk estimation is concerned with outcome or consequences of an intention taking account of the probability of occurrence. Various approaches to predicting cliff recession have been adopted ranging from extrapolation of historic recession data to methods which rely on understanding of the cliff recession process, for example methods which relate incident wave energy and cliff strength parameters to recession rate (e.g. Carrying out risk management implies performing several steps (whose activities will be detailed in the next sub-sections).
This means employers must perform a cost-benefit analysis to balance the cost (include money, time, trouble and effort) they could have to reduce a risk against the degree of risk presented[5]. Several examples of measures that can be used to achieve this aim are: emergency plan, evacuation planning, warning systems (alarms, flashing lights), test of emergency procedures, exercises and drills, fire-extinguishing system, or a return-to-work plan.
The stage at which values and judgements enter the decision-making process, explicitly or implicitly, by including consideration of the importance of the estimated risks, and the associated social, environmental and economic consequences. Subdivision of Zone 2 to indicate likely extent of deposition for a High X Risk Event originating in Zone 1X. It should be demonstrated that the cost involved in reducing the risk further would be grossly disproportionate to the benefit gained.
The overall view of risk held by a person or group and includes both feeling and judgement. Geomorphological assessment highlighted the characteristics of cliff fall events, averaging around 3m in size. On some coastlines the recession process is dominated by rare, single landslide events, rather than the repeated sequences of regular events modelled in the previous example.



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