Damage Compensation and Risk-Informed Regulation: Status and Trends in the EU

  • Christian Kirchsteiger
Conference paper


A comparison is made to investigate whether current developments on the control of accidental risks (assessment methods, EU legal frameworks and liability schemes) related to process industries, nuclear power plants and hydro power dams are proportional to their typical hazard and risk characteristics. To decide if an activity is right or not, it has to be investigated if accidents resulting from this activity have possible harmful consequences to non-actors. If no the activity is right, if yes the activity is only right if those who would experience harm have consented to it after having been informed. If, after its realisation, the activity causes damage, the actor is forced to compensate it [1]. To decide, some form of risk assessment has to be made, i.e. evaluation of the type of hazard, harmful consequences and probabilities. Essentially, it is the historical or prognostic information available either directly on the activity level or on more decomposed ones which determines the type of risk measure used to characterise the activity risk. Conditions for consent are then general rules (laws), incl. elements of risk and public participation, both on the side of prevention (safety/environmental regulations) and mitigation (emergency planning, liability to ensure that damage does not remain with affected non-actors).


Public Participation Strict Liability Risk Assessment Method Probabilistic Risk Assessment Major Accident 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Zandvoort H. The Function of Legal Liability in Controlling Technological Risks. Proceedings of PSAM 7 Conference 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    European Environment Agency. Europe’s Environment: The Second Assessment, Elsevier Science, Oxford, 1998.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hirschberg S., Spiekerman G., Dones R. Severe Accidents in the Energy Sector. Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Safety Science — special issue on international workshop on promotion of technical harmonisation on risk-based decision-making 2002; 40.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kirchsteiger C. How frequent are major industrial accidents in Europe? Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2001; 79: 206–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kirchsteiger C. Technical communication on status in developing a compass for risk assessment, Safety Science 2003; 42: 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Kirchsteiger
    • 1
  1. 1.European Commission, DG-JRCInstitute for EnergyZG PettenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations