Decisions for action are what differentiate hazards from risks


Risks exist in a permanent state of virtuality and are actualized through perception and anticipation (Van Loon, 2003). In other words, when risks are anticipated, people are called to respond and to make decisions. At this point, it is important to refer to Beck's (2000) and Luhmann's (1995) claim that decisions (actions, interventions) separate risks from hazards. This means that when some risk happens, then it is manifested as a hazard and open the possibility for new risks and new hazards to happen again. And this is exactly “what modern 'man' has done [...] By turning anticipation into the rational calculation, hazards could be operationalized as risks in terms of probability” (Van Loon, 2003, p. 3).

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