Hazmat trains travel across the country since railroads exist…what are the risks

Hazmat trains travel across the country since railroads exist…what are the risks

Oct 30th, 2014

In follow-up of this post. Hazmat trains travel across the country since railroads exist…what are the risks?

Hazmat trains travel across the country since railroads exist...what are the risks

Hazmat Trains Accidents

Accident b1) Each year various accidents occur, limited casualties occur, they are reported in local to national media, as “minor” accidents. For example CN train hauling dangerous goods derails near Clair, Saskatchewan or the two Union Pacific locomotives hitting head on, in Hoxie, Arkansas.

Accident b2) One major, catastrophic accident occurs, a vivid one with “unthinkable” consequences (Lac Megantic, for example)

Hazmat trains travel across the country since railroads exist…what are the risks

Societally “minor” accidents neither trigger policies changes nor major inquiries by third parties even if larger accidents (no major, catastrophic accidents) are reported by the media. However, according to recent history, if frequency and consequences increase significantly, media attention is triggered and outcry becomes preponderant. Below that threshold “minor” accidents are Cyclops (known probability, uncertain consequences). Above the threshold they directly lead to a Medusa effect because the “cluster” of accidents, now in public domain, shakes public confidence. Inquiries and mitigation will follow. For the residents along the right of way these risks are perceived as Cyclops (similar to flooding or earthquake).

Societally major, catastrophic accident are a Sword of Damocles’ risk, before they happen (high consequence, low perceived probability). If a major, catastrophic accident occurs, there is an immediate awareness, in some cases panic, due to the fact that at least that occurrence is now certain to have happened, the case gets lots of attention and mitigation is decided. Hydrocarbon Rail Road major, catastrophic accidents can easily be interpreted as belonging to the Medusa metaphor. For the residents along the right of way these risks are perceived as Sword of Damocles (similar to living next to a nuclear reactor or large scale chemical plant).

Tagged with: , , , ,

Category: Consequences, Hazard, Probabilities, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Riskope Blog latests posts

  • New achievements in risk assessment and management
  • 2-05-2023
  • Print PDFNew achievements in risk assessment and management will be attained thanks to SRK Consulting merging with Riskope. Indeed, we…
  • Read More
  • Open letter to the organizer of the tailings dam round robin exercise
  • 29-03-2023
  • Print PDFDear Ryan, please receive this open letter to the organizer of the tailings dam round robin exercise. It explains…
  • Read More
  • Landslides risk assessment and monitoring
  • 8-03-2023
  • Print PDFDuring the first couple decades of our professional life we worked extensively with Landslides risk assessment and monitoring in…
  • Read More
  • Get in Touch
  • Learn more about our services by contacting us today
  • t +1 604-341-4485
  • +39 347-700-7420

Hosted and powered by WR London.