Topic: Resources

Statistical Life Valuation

As monetization of risk becomes more mainstream, values must be assigned to the potential for human injury or fatality.  The risk assessor need not generate values himself since such numbers are published in various sources.  This includes values that have been used in US government decision-making for years. Here is some example guidance:  VSL Guidance 2013 […]

Can you explain more about Geohazards and Weather-Related Outside Forces?

Geohazards and Weather-Related Outside Force The threat category ‘Outside Force’ in a risk assessment typically includes forces such as ground/earth movement, flooding, cold weather, and lightning. When buried pipelines cross sloping terrain, there is a danger that soil movement (down the slope) will impose an excessive load on the pipe that could lead to failure.  […]

Risk Profiling

Pipeline Risk Assessment—Risk Profiling In earlier installments of this column, we introduced the concept of pipeline risk assessment Essential Elements (EE’s).  That guideline is a list of ingredients that must be included in any pipeline risk assessment before that assessment can be considered complete.  Following these guidelines helps to ensure a technically sound risk assessment […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment

Risk assessment on any facility is most efficiently done by first dividing the facility into components with unchanging risk characteristics. For a cross-country pipeline, this involves collecting data on all portions of the pipeline and its surroundings and then using this data to ‘dynamically segment’ the pipeline into segments of varying length. Risk algorithms are […]

The Test of Time Estimation of Exposure

In the absence of more compelling evidence, an appropriate starting point for the exposure estimation may be the fact that a component or collection of components has not failed after x years in service. This involves the notion of having ‘withstood the test of time’. A component having survived a threat, especially for many years, […]

Damage vs failure: a risk assessment needs to know the difference

To measure resistance in a way most useful to a risk assessment, we must estimate the possible presence of weaknesses, the rate of emergence of future weaknesses, and the role of each weakness in strength reduction. By W. Kent Muhlbauer, WKM Consulting, Austin, TX, USA Since several of our recent columns have dealt with management-of-risk […]

Where is the Risk Control Strategy?

In an earlier article, we noted that risk management is, in effect, often unintentionally delegated to decision-makers occupying the lower portions of the corporate org chart.  In many companies, the field personnel are essentially setting corporate risk levels via their choices in day-to-day activities and their perceptions of priorities. While we noted some advantages of […]

Formal Risk Assessment—Is it helping me?

Ever consider that true risk management sometimes occurs only at the lower levels of some pipeline organizations?  That is, personnel performing field activities are in effect setting risk levels for the company.  Their choices of day-to-day activities are essentially driving risk management and thereby establishing corporate risk levels.  This is not just theoretical—real choices are […]

Measuring Failure Potential—What is Attacking? 

How Effective are Defenses?  Can it Survive? In several previous columns, we have noted the need for a very specific approach to measuring failure probability (PoF).  Three factors must be independently measured/estimated in order to fully understand PoF.  Let’s explore those factors a bit deeper here. Regardless of the definition of ‘failure’ being used, failure […]