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Factor of Safety and probability of failure of geostructures

Today we discuss the Factor of Safety and probability of failure of geostructures. We presented this discussion  at TMW 2020 and are delighted to share with you our talk.    This information is applicable to dams as well as dumps and pit slopes. However that requires the analyst pay attention to the specific details pertaining each type of structure. Factor of safety and probability of failure of geostructures The Factor of Safety (FoS) measures the ability of a structure to…

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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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Act of God in probabilistic risk assessment

We define an Act of God in probabilistic risk assessment as an event with a probability of occurrence below the general consensus for credibility. In other words it is an unbelievable event that is supposed to be unfathomable “God’s will”. We can quantify probabilities down to certain frequency levels. As a matter of fact, in our day-to-day practice we consider events probabilities as follows: down to 10-5 as credible, between 10-5 and 10-6 as poorly credible, and finally, below 10-6…

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Holistic Geoethical Slopes’ Portfolio Risk Assessment in Geological Society

We are proud to publish Holistic Geoethical Slopes’ Portfolio Risk Assessment in Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 508. We want to personally thank Giuseppe Di Capua of IAPG for inviting us. Here is a summary of what we discuss in our paper Landslides of natural and man-made slopes, including dykes and dams represent hazardous geomorphological processes that generate highly variable risks. To optimize a slope mitigation approach, one has to combine the probability of failure and the cost of consequences…

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The impact of standard of care on dams survivability

Using ORE2_Tailings we can quantify the impact of standard of care on dams survivability. In this blogpost we take three dams, namely Dam x, Dam y and Dam z. Their design was identical with initial factor of safety of 1.3. In addition, they had similar QA/QC, construction method, same systemic approach, efforts and uncertainties consideration. Various small mishaps hit the dams along their history. Some repairs occurred, under different contracts, different quality control and finally, at different times. It turns…

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