• Andrew Sweatman

AFAIRP and ALARP are given the Pub test


Acronyms and more acronyms

Safety regulators love their acronyms:

  • AFAIRP as far as is reasonably practicable

  • ALARP as low as reasonably practicable

Reasonably practicable, in relation to a duty to ensure safety, means that which is or could be reasonably expected to be able to be done in relation to ensuring safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters and influencing factors……..

Safety regulators use AFAIRP or ALARP in the context of determining whether due diligence in risk management/mitigation has been practiced. This is typically done through technical measures involving risk assessment and calculations supported by various engineering and other options. All very complicated but important all the same.

The aim or outcome is to ensure due diligence in risk elimination/mitigation. Due diligence is the act of meeting a certain standard of due care.

That’s all very well, but what about the Pub Test?

I

prefer to also test due diligence of AFAIRP or ALARP with the Pub Test. In Australia the pub test is a measure or gauge of opinion, acceptance or statement or fact by those who choose to participate/comment whether experts or just interested parties.

Do the pub test.

The pub test asks the question “will the measures of risk control initiated by either the AFAIRP or ALARP thinking mitigate all foreseeable risks?”

If all foreseeable risks are considered to be covered then the AFAIRP or ALARP process has met the pub test.

Who should be involved in the Pub Test?

Participation in the pub test can involve anyone however, in the case of workplace or public safety, it should involve interested parties such as subject matter experts, operators of equipment or those involved in the process. It might also include end users.

The pub test is a test after a risk assessment is completed to challenge due diligence in the broader environment other than in a risk assessment workshop.

It’s the common sense final step – the PUB TEST. The only downside is, it’s generally not done in a pub. Never mind.


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