With the need to juggle design requirements, recommendations, personal opinions, and company preferences, how does one determine a safe, cost-effective risk reduction design? A quick solution may be to incorporate all potential safeguards, but that is neither practical nor cost-effective. Companies have turned to various methods to evaluate their mitigation options for fire, explosion, and reactivity hazards. Most methods simply identify the high-risk issues; they do not determine the most cost-effective risk reduction options.

Whether it is for a capital project, regulatory compliance, or to define standards, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a proven method for cost-effective risk management. Three case studies are presented in this paper to illustrate the flexibility and benefits of this approach.