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The Application of a Fuzzy Approach to the Analysis of OSH Practitioners Level of Risk Acceptance

[+] Author Affiliations
Matilde A. Rodrigues

Institute Polytechnic of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Celina P. Leão, Eusébio Nunes, Sérgio Sousa, Pedro Arezes

University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Paper No. IMECE2014-40069, pp. V014T08A028; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 14: Emerging Technologies; Engineering Management, Safety, Ethics, Society, and Education; Materials: Genetics to Structures
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4963-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Organizations need constantly to take decisions about risk. In this process, Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) practitioners’ judgments have a great importance. If on one hand they have the technical knowledge about risk, on the other hand the decisions can be dependent on their level of risk acceptance. In view of this, this paper analyzes the views of the OSH practitioners about the level of risk acceptance, using the Fuzzy logic approach. A questionnaire to the analysis of the reported level of risk acceptance was developed and applied. The questionnaire included 79 risk scenarios, each accounted for the frequency of an accident with more lost workdays than a given magnitude. Through the two-step cluster analysis three groups of OSH practitioners were identified: Unacceptable, Tolerable and Realistic groups. A further analysis of the realistic group judgments about risk was performed, using the Fuzzy logic approach. The fuzzy sets of inputs and output variables were determined and the relationship between the variables was mapped through fuzzy rules. After that, the Min–Max fuzzy inference method was used. The obtained results show that the risk level is acceptable when input variables are at the lowest value and unacceptable when the risk level is high. Furthermore, the results obtained allow to better understand the uncertainty related with the OSH practitioners judgments being an important step to better understand the modeling of judgments about risk acceptance level allowing to know the different risk acceptance levels for the different accident scenarios.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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