Investment into Human Risks in Railways and Decision Optimization

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The Life Quality Index (LQI) is a rational way to establish a relationship among the resources utilized to improve human safety and the expected fatalities that can be avoided by safety improvement. This article uses the LQI approach to quantify the social benefits of a number of safety management plans for a railway facility such as level crossing (LC). We apply influence diagrams (IDs), which are the extensions of Bayesian Networks, to model and assess the life safety risks. In IDs, problems of probabilistic inference, economics-based utility values, and decision alternatives are combined and optimized. The optimal decision, which maximizes total benefits to society, is obtained for the LC. As low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) case, and is a widely accepted risk acceptance criteria in the railway industry. According to the ALARP, there exists a so-called tolerable region between the regions of intolerable and negligible risks. In the tolerable region, risk is undertaken only if a benefit is desired. To quantify socioeconomic benefits, one needs to have an additional risk acceptance criterion such as LQI. In this article we apply and discuss the advantages of the LQI and the IDs for a number of safety management plans for railway LCs.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1313
Number of pages15
JournalHuman and ecological risk assessment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015



  • ALARP, influence diagrams, life quality index, life safety risk, railways, risk acceptance criteria