Risk Management.

80-90% of losses are caused by human (individual and organizational) failures. Yet systems approaches focus on technology and processes.

In some industries, risk is managed by a ‘trial and error’ approach. Regulation cannot be relied on exclusively to address this, as the situated and negotiated character of regulatory compliance means that different groups have different perspectives on what the particular risks are and what is required to mitigate them. This is a call for action for engineers and their organizations to be better equipped to better identify hazards; prioritize and manage risks; and protect people, the environment, assets and production.

Risk Management is the systematic and iterative process of communicating, consulting, establishing the context, and identifying, analyzing, evaluating, treating, monitoring, and reviewing risk.

For simpler operations, such as a simple one-person task, the risk management process may involve the use of a one-page checklist. For complex, multi-disciplinary processes (e.g. railway operations on track with rock falls, avalanches, and washouts) risk management may involve using software to perform a systematic, comprehensive safety and mitigation assessment.

The Swiss Cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk management (especially aviation safety, engineering, workplace safety) to illustrate the principle of layered security.

Risk controls can be used at many stages of an operation to prevent, control, and mitigate risks. Losses will only occur if the ‘holes’ in the cheese align,

The Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) “Onion” is another model of accident causation/prevention used in risk analysis and risk management in process safety management (refineries, pipelines, manufacturing).

LOPA considers methods of preventing a hazardous event from occurring (process controls, alarms, safety instrumentation systems, physical protection and pressure relief) and mitigating the severity of the associated risks (physical mitigation/separation, emergency response).