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Quantitative Risk Analysis

Quantitative Risk Analysis

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Published by Joao Santos
Quantitative Risk Analysis (Standard and Extended models), Risk Uncertainty
Quantitative Risk Analysis (Standard and Extended models), Risk Uncertainty

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Published by: Joao Santos on Dec 09, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/05/2013

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The author was born in Angola, in March 1968. The author received a Bachelor (1994) degree and aLicenciature (1996) degree in Chemical Engineering from the School of Engineering of the PolytechnicInstitute of Oporto (Oporto, Portugal), and a Master (M. S.) degree in Environmental Engineering (2001)from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Oporto (Oporto, Portugal). Also, the author has aadvanced diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (ISQ – Institute of Welding and Quality, Vila Nova deGaia, Portugal). The author is a Professional Safety Engineer, licensed by ACT (Labor Conditions National Authority, National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) and ISHST (Institute of Safety andHygiene and Occupational Health). The author has several years of background experience in industrial,chemical and petrochemical processes and operations. The author experience in occupational health andsafety field include chemical and petrochemical plant safety reviews, surveys and inspections, safetyrequirements and application of safety standards, codes and practices (including OSHA, NFPA, NEC, API, ANSI), process safety, industrial risk analysis and assessment, fire and loss prevention engineering andmanagement. The author’s research interest include environmental engineering and safety engineering;much of his research in safety field has emphasized the development of safety processes and risk analyis.Inquiries about the content of this work may be directed to the following address:Rua Parque de Jogos, 357, Bloco A, 2º CentroLugar do Covelo4745–457 São Mamede do CoronadoPORTUGALE-mail: joao.santos@lycos.comTelephone: (351) 91 824 2766This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproducedby any process without prior written permission from the authors. Requests and inquiries concerningreproduction and rights should be addressed to the above address.
 
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In this document the term “risk analysis” is employed in its broadest sense to include risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Risk assessment involves identifying sources of potential harm,assessing the likelihood (probability) that harm will occur and the consequences if harm does occur. Risk management evaluates which risks identified in the risk assessment process require management andselects and implements the plans or actions that are required to ensure that those risks are controlled. Risk communication involves an interactive dialogue between stakeholders and risk assessors and risk managerswhich actively informs the other processes. Due to the relatively short history of use of technology, thepotential variety of hazards and the complexity of the environments into which they may be introduced, therisk analysis process may rely on both quantitative and qualitative data.
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 The first step in risk assessment is establishing the risk context. The risk context includes: the scope andboundaries of the risk analysis as determined by national and international regulations, the Regulations andthe Regulator’s approach to their implementation; the proposed dealings; and the nature of the process andtechnology. It should be noted that consideration of potential harm may include economic issues such asmarketability and other trade considerations, which sometimes fall outside the scope of the national andinternational regulations. As the Regulator must consider risks to human health and safety and theenvironment (and other targets) arising from, or as a result of, human activities and interaction withtechnology. In addressing harm it is important to define harm, and the criteria to assess harm.Risk assessment can be usefully considered as a series of simple questions: “What might happen?”, “Howmight it happen?”, “Will it be serious if it happens?”, “How likely is it to happen?”, and finally, ”What is therisk?”. In the first instance, answering these questions involves hazard identification, a process that identifiessources of potential harm (“What…?”) and the causal pathway through which that harm may eventuate(“How…?”). This is followed by a consideration of the seriousness of the harm being realised (consequence),the chance or probability (likelihood) that harm will occur, the chance of exposure to the hazard, and thesafety level existing for the process or technology. The hazard identification, consequence, likelihood,exposure, and safety level assessments together lead to an appraisal of whether the hazard will result in arisk and to make a qualitative estimate of the level of that risk (risk estimate). Although risk assessment ismost simply presented as a linear process, inreality it is cyclical or iterative, with risk communication activelyinforming the other elements. For this reason, it is helpful to use terminology that clearly distinguishesbetween the likelihood assessment, consequence (loss criticality) assessment, exposure assessment, safetylevel assessment, and the risk estimate. Therefore, several different descriptors have been selected for eachcomponent that are designed to convey a scale of sequential levels. The consistent application of thisdistinct terminology is intended to clarify the discussion of these components of the risk assessment. Theexplanations of the descriptors for consequence need to encompass adverse consequences of eventsrelating to both human health and safety and other targets, e.g. the environment. They are relatively simple,in order to cover the range of different factors (e.g. severity, space, time, cumulative, reversibility) that maycontribute to the significance of adverse consequences. The risk estimate is derived from the combinedconsideration of both exposure, likelihood, loss criticality (severity), and safety level. The individualdescriptors can be incorporated into a Risk Estimate Matrix. The aim of the matrix is to provide a format forthinking about the relationship between the exposure, likelihood, and loss criticality (severity) of particular

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