India dam break Facebook and fake news

India dam break Facebook and fake news finds its inspiration in a series of very recent events. Very unfortunately one of them, the Rishiganga dam collapse (, was mortiferous.  World-wide water storage structures are ageing A report by UNU-INWEH,  Ageing Water Storage Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk, provides an overview of the phenomenon. Indeed tens of thousands of existing large dams have reached 50 years of age. In addition, many others will approach 100 years. For instance, UK has the…

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The eternal confusion between tailings hazard and risks

A comment to a blogpost on tailings failures inspired this comment on the eternal confusion between tailings hazard and risks. Some voices are rising to state that the real number of tailings dams on the planet is around 35,000. Based on that number they then engage in a biased risk discourse. Indeed, we think those arguments are misleading and not helping the cause of tailings risk reduction. Let’s discuss why. The true number of tailings dams on the planet The number…

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Risk assessment and automation bias

In these days of AI, IoT and other technological developments Risk assessment and automation bias have to be discussed. The definition of Automation bias covers the propensity users have to favor suggestions from automated decision-making systems. Victims of automation bias will ignore contradictory information made without automation, even if it is correct. Automation bias is the last of a long dynasty Automation bias is heir to a dynasty of biases based on the same principle, but seemingly very different one from another,…

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Convergent risk assessments

Convergent risk assessments integrate areas that are significant to an organization, such as operational risk generated by various hazards or compliance, within a single framework. In the meantime, convergent risk assessments suppress informational siloes and therefore tend to explicitly tackle systemic interdependencies. Convergent risk assessment A convergent risk assessment looks at a silos-free system where: physical, informational geographical, and finally logical risk information converge in a single platform. Convergent risk assessments have to be holistic by definition. We discuss the definitions…

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Business as usual definition in Risk Assessment

Business as usual definition in risk assessment, as defined in our day-to-day practice, is an unchanging state of affairs. That is, despite the occurrence of non-divergent hazards of any kind (man-made, natural). An example of business as usual and non divergent hazard For instance, the variability of any parameter as considered and specified in the design of a system is “business as usual”. Therefore that variability does not represent a hazard. For example, the variation of the oil price of…

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Foreseeability and predictability in risk assessments

The discussion of terms such as Foreseeability and predictability in risk assessments is rather common. Like usual, at Riskope we like to have an extremely clear glossary, in order to avoid blunders due to miscommunication. Foreseeability and predictability in risk assessments Foreseeability is the facility to perceive, know in advance, or reasonably anticipate that damage or injury will probably ensue from acts or omissions. A foreseeable event or situation is one that can be known about or guessed before it…

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Tactical and strategic planning to mitigate divergent events

Tactical and strategic planning to mitigate divergent events is one of the themes of our next book. The term divergent does not yet appear in our glossary, as we are preparing its fourth edition. Stay tuned for the announcement of its publication. In short, hazards or exposures become divergent when they part from long term averages and “usual extremes”, both in terms of frequencies and/or magnitude. For example, a hundred-year rain event that occurs three times in a short interval…

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Comments on KPMG survey about third party risk management

We just read KPMG’s Third Party Risk Management outlook 2020 and today we will pitch in comments on KPMG survey on third party risk management . Risk integration We discuss what its conclusions mean in terms of practical risk assessment and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). At Riskope we started integrating third parties risks in ERMs and risk assessments twenty years ago. We note that in the grand scheme of things third party may also mean neighbors. Of course, defining the limits…

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