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As Low as Reasonably Practicable

Last updated: June 17, 2017

What Does As Low as Reasonably Practicable Mean?

As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) is used in connection with the management and regulation of safety systems. ALARP attempts to reduce the potential risk of harm as far as possible. The term originated in UK law and issued in the UK. In the USA, it is equivalent to the term ALARA, which stands for As Low As Reasonably Achievable. To reach the point of being ALARP, the cost involved in reducing the risk further must be shown to be grossly disproportionate to the benefit gained.

Safeopedia Explains As Low as Reasonably Practicable

In deciding whether the ALARP point has been achieved, the following factors should be taken into account:

  • Health and safety guidelines
  • Codes of Practice
  • Industry practice
  • Manufacturer specs and Regulations
  • International standards and laws
  • Advisory body guidelines
  • Comparison with hazardous events in similar industries
  • Costs of further risk reduction in proportion to the benefit gained

A cost benefit analysis is used in determining whether a risk has been reduced to ALAP. This involves weighing up the sacrifices in terms of cost, time and energy, against the lowered risk level.


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