Introduction: Industrial chemical accidents have been increased in developing countries. Assessing the human vulnerability in the residents of industrial areas is necessary for reducing the injuries and causalities of chemical hazards. The aim of this study was to explore the key indicators for the assessment of human vulnerability in the residents living near chemical installations.
Methods: The indicators were established in the present study based on the Fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP). The reliability of FDM and FAHP was calculated. The indicators of human vulnerability were explored in two sets of social and physical domains. Thirty-five relevant experts participated in this study during March-July 2015.
Results: According to experts, the top three indicators of human vulnerability according to the FDM and FAHP were vulnerable groups, population density, and awareness. Detailed sub-vulnerable groups and awareness were developed based on age, chronic or severe diseases, disability, first responders, and residents, respectively. Each indicator and sub-indicator was weighted and ranked and had an acceptable consistency ratio.
Conclusions: The importance of social vulnerability indicators are about 7 times more than physical vulnerability indicators. Among the extracted indicators, vulnerable groups had the highest weight and the greatest impact on human vulnerability. however, further research is needed to investigate the applicability of established indicators and generalizability of the results to other studies.
Key words: Fuzzy Delphi; Fuzzy AHP; Human vulnerability; Chemical hazards