The Role of Risk Perception in the Effectiveness of Health and Safety Technologies

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The following research examines the role of risk perception in the frequency and manner in which life-safety systems and equipment are used to mitigate various natural and man-made hazards in the human environment. This research involves several wide ranging social-empirical case studies in which the effectiveness of various health and safety technologies engineered to protect workers and the general public were found to be highly dependent on both quantitative and qualitative aspects of perceived risk. Research findings indicate that risk perception is dependent on both rational and irrational perceptions of hazard predictability, consequence and control. These perceptions are influenced by many demographic and cultural factors, occupational and social factors, and, the media. Case studies to be presented include social and behavioral responses to public security measures, disaster clean-up worker perceived risk exposure to physical, chemical and biological hazards, homebuyer perceptions of manufactured housing hurricane safety and, public responses to sick building syndrome.


Keywords: Risk, Perception, Health, Safety, Social Science, Engineering, Interdisciplinary
Stream: Technology and Applied Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Kevin Grosskopf

Professor, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida, USA

Dr. Grosskopf is a faculty member of the University of Florida specializing in natural and human-caused hazards. Areas of expertise include simulations and mitigation of air quality hazards, hurricane damage, fire hazards, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as post-disaster response and recovery training. Dr. Grosskopf is director of the Center for Collective Protection, University of Florida and, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Construction Education and Research (IJCER). Dr. Grosskopf is author of more than 50 refereed journal papers and conference proceedings, and is principal investigator on more than $US 2.1M in research grants.

Ref: I08P0789