You have to differentiate between a safe but damaging shut down, where there is no risk to human life, and an unsafe shutdown.
No you don't. The principles to process safety apply to both personal risk and commercial risk to a company. Any company that focuses on one and not the other is a fool which probably deserves the cost of replacing equipment. I have personally installed many safety systems that have nothing to do with personal safety at all, and everything to do with companies either not damaging equipment or not getting a fine from a regulator.
The only thing you really need to differentiate is the chart that your figures are displayed on because if in an incident a lawyer gets there hands on something which puts a dollar value on human life the day would get very interesting.
You use a car analogy parts of the body work are designed to fail in a way that destroys them, but keeps the occupants of the car safe. Industrial systems are often designed on the same principals.
More over, it is very difficult to design any kind of complex machine that can never fail in a way that damages it. Even if it can be done, often it doesn't make economic sense to since the cost of a very low number of failures is likely to be lower than the cost of preventing them. Insurance is a better option, and in this case if their security had been up to scratch it wouldn't have happened in the first place.
You're right about this, but not about the scale. Components designed to protect people at the expense of equipment or components designed to protect equipment are often cheap and have a facility to easily replace. Two examples of what you're saying would be bursting disks (designed to pop at a set pressure and prevent vessel rupture), and sheer couplings which come in all sorts of types and will break under stress before something else does. I have never seen a plant designed with the view of protecting occupants during a complete destruction which didn't also have many systems in place to prevent this. Just because for instance the local gas plant buries their vessel in a giant pool of sand, doesn't mean they don't also have other systems to prevent vessel rupture from occurring in the first place.
Now they may have thought about this and applied a value as you said, in which case I'm going back to fool who deserves the cost of equipment replacement and won't shed a tear about this incident.