RISK ANALYSIS AND THE REGULATION OF SAFETY BY ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS: A CASE STUDY

  • JOHN L RONSON
  • CARY R SWOVELAND
Keywords: Administrative Law

Abstract

This paper describes how a risk analysis study was used in argument at the Canadian Transportation Commission's 1981 Show Cause hearing into the transportation of dangerous commodities by rail. The hearing was called to consider the principal recommendations of Grange J., arising out of his inquiry into the well-known Mississauga train derailment. During the course of the hearings, other proposals were advanced, including one advocated by CP Rail, which received support from industry groups. The risk analysis showed that the principal recommendations of Grange J., when limited in application to the most dangerous commodities, would have resulted in an almost imperceptible improvement in safety, at enormous cost ; and that the operating procedures proposed by CP Rail, while superficially attractive, were in fact less safe than the existing procedures for transporting dangerous commodities by rail. The Tribunal rejected both the Grange and CP proposals, in part because of the findings of the risk analysis. The paper also discusses the use of similar studies before administrative tribunals and possible applications in other contexts.

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Published
1984-03-01
Section
Legal Commentary