Technical safety systems and emergency preparedness measures constitute important parts of safety and emergency response. Technical safety systems are usually designed in accordance with traditional engineering tools. This research area challenges existing design principles and practices. Analytical approaches for use in safety management exist, but very few of them treat the field of emergency preparedness planning.
In order to develop approaches which combine technical safety, emergency preparedness planning, emergency response performance and the subsequent real incident applications, processes for risk and performance analysis serve as the basis for the methodology development.
Key issues addressed in our projects and education are:
- Engineering processes in technical safety designs, for example fire safety engineering
- Validation of engineering processes and phenomenological models
- Requirement development related to performance of emergency preparedness measures, for example expressing safety margins
- How to conclude that emergency response arrangements are good
- How to measure, analyze and assess emergency response performance
- Naturalistic decision making, critical tasks in emergencies
- Dynamic risk assessment during emergency response
- How to approach research on emergency response
- How to investigate accidents in the context of emergency response
- How to learn from accident and incident investigations
The research on emergency preparedness planning and emergency response performance emerge in the area of technology versus social science, planning theories in the perspective of probabilistic approaches, decision making under uncertainty in life threatening situations, and balancing values and variables not easily quantified.