Ineris’ role in the risk management chain

Ineris’ mission is to develop scientific and technical expertise in preventing and managing risks to the environment. The Institute plays a major role in the first steps of the risk management process, which consists of providing decision-makers with a risk assessment.

Ineris’ competences make it a key player in the initial risk management process, under the technical designation of “risk assessment” (ISO international standard), “risk estimation” (Afnor French standard) or “risk evaluation.” Risk assessment is traditionally structured into three stages:

  • Risk identification includes the acquisition of knowledge on the phenomena at play in a given context: dangers (causes, triggers, etc.), potential consequences, vulnerability of likely targets;
  • Risk analysis consists of combining risk components to estimate their significance quantitatively and / or qualitatively. In accidental risk, this stage relies on the study of accident scenarios; in chronic risk, it is based on characterizing exposure to a pollutant;
  • Risk evaluation involves classifying risks into hierarchies by comparing the estimated risk to a range of decision-making criteria (scientific, legal, societal, political, economic, etc.). At this stage of evaluation, the Institute provides expertise exclusively in terms of technical and scientific criteria.

After the risk assessment stage comes the risk reduction stage in which the Institute also plays a key role. It mobilizes its expertise to contribute technical and economic data to assist in the selection and / or maintenance of risk management measures. It thus studies the performance of protective barriers, sustainable technology (including best techniques), and evaluates and analyses the impact and cost effectiveness of management policy.

Ineris contributes to forecasting risk and implementing monitoring procedures throughout the risk management process, both as an advisor, monitoring strategies and as a field agent deploying these strategies. Ineris also plays a part in technical crisis management support through its Emergency Situation Response Unit (CASU), and regularly provides expertise in post-accident investigations.

Ineris’ expertise is put to the service of government as part of France’s approach to preventing major risks, which is structured around 7 principles of prevention.