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Tailings Dams Review Boards and Inspection Reports

Tailings dams review boards and inspection Reports exist because of a voluntary effort by the mining industry to improve and mitigate dams “issues”. In addition, mining companies are under pressure to be more transparent on their “issues”. We discuss below the term “issue”.   UNEP 2017 report and more recently Church of England initiative and ICMM “global code” are all expressions of this growing pressure. Thus, mining companies are requesting the publication of Tailings dams review boards and inspection Reports. Publication…

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Slope Failure Definition

Slope Failure definition is the second step of a slope risk assessment. The first step is, of course, system definition. It is indeed paramount to clearly state what is considered the success of the slope under consideration. Indeed, unless one clearly defines success, failure remains an ambiguous term (Adams, 2015). Generally we define the success of a slope as the fact that: it stands as built and does not afflict operations (traffic, ore recovery, business interruption, H&S). it features slow…

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Deception of Credible scenario

Personal human experience, bounded rationality and deception of credible scenario are important in the context of risk identification.   Risk identification is a fundamental phase of a risk assessment. It intervenes after system and objectives definition. Oftentimes we hear that practitioners consider only credible scenarios in a risk identification exercise. Today we explore why only considering credible scenario is a deception and could lead you to disaster. Incidentally, this might be one of the reasons leading numerous unrealistic risk assessment…

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Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning

We recently discussed with a client Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning. The theme is interesting and warrants publication this week as it raises a number of interesting issues. We use Rx to indicate our client’s Remarks, and Ax to indicate the our related Answers. Fragile – Robust – Antifragile systems R1) I think there is value in characterizing systems into the three groupings that Taleb presented. That is, Fragile – Robust – Antifragile. Because it gets engineering…

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Risk evaluation for dam break

A client asked us to perform a risk evaluation for dam break methodological review. As a result we reviewed risk guidelines regarding the public living or working in the inundation zone of a dam. Ultimately, the goal is to help decide tolerable risk vs. relocation of potentially impacted homes or livelihoods. As a matter of fact, we think this is an important subject and have thus decided to publish it. In Section 1 we review the procedure leading to risk-informed…

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Threat from and threat to concepts

In our courses we always introduce the Threat from and threat to concepts because they apply to risk assessment and risk management. Oftentimes engineers and technical people have a “facility-centric” approach. This means they see the facility they are studying as a potential source of hazard exposures. In mining, this means looking for example at the pit or tailings as the sources of hazards to “the environment”. Thus, oftentimes the analysts see the facility as generating threats to the population,…

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Cyber attacks leave physical consequences

We are pleased to see that FM Global recognize the fact that Cyber attacks leave physical consequences. Some context on physical consequences Last year in 2019 we wrote about an aluminum maker forced to shut down  operations because of a ransomware attack. Successful hacking on industrial systems seemed to remain “isolated exploits” for a long time. For example, in 2014 hackers struck a steel mill in Germany. They did so by manipulating and disrupting the industrial control systems (ICS) to such a…

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Why climate risk and consequence overcost have common similarities

Today we look at why climate risk and consequence overcost have common similarities. Have you ever been involved in a project whose final budget exploded due to consequence of apparently small, negligible schedule or material risks? Similarly, even thus we record small change in weather averages, big impacts are being noticed. Let’s find out why this happens. Probability of overcost vs. Likelihood of event Lets suppose the consequences of a risk scenario vary between 0 and 20M$ with an average…

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