Human Safety Criteria for Risk-Based Structural Design

Human Safety Criteria for Risk-Based Structural Design

Miroslav Sykora Milan Holicky Karel Jung Dimitris Diamantidis 

Czech Technical University in Prague, Klokner Institute, Prague, Czech Republic

OTH Regensburg, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Regensburg, Germany

1 February 2018
| Citation



Risk and reliability criteria are well established in many industrial sectors such as the offshore, chemical or nuclear industries. Comparative risk thresholds have been specified to allow a responsible organization or regulator to identify activities, which impose an acceptable level of risk concerning the participating individuals, or society as a whole. The scope of this contribution is to present target reliability criteria based on acceptable human safety levels. Application of theoretical principles is illustrated by examples of railway engineering structures. Initially it is shown how civil engineering structures for which human safety criteria play a role are classified according to Eurocodes. Examples include bridges, tunnels or station buildings. The general concepts for risk acceptance are then briefly reviewed, particularly in their relation to the target reliability criteria. The distinction between the two types of criteria is made: group risk and the acceptance criterion based on the Life Quality Index LQI approach introduced by ISO 2394:2015. The differences between the criteria for new and existing structures are discussed. The application is illustrated by an example of a bridge crossing an important railway line. It appears that while benefits and costs of a private stakeholder or public authority are reflected by economic optimisation, the society should define the limits for human safety to achieve uniform risks for various daily-life activities and across different industrial sectors.


group risk, human safety, individual risk, Life Quality Index, railway, risk acceptance, structure, target reliability


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