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 […]

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 […]

Pipeline Risk Assessment: Threat Interaction—A Case of Confusing Terminology

As we continue this exploration of pipeline risk assessment, let’s tackle some terminology obstacles.  Pipeline risk assessment is a challenging topic on its own, so added confusion from terminology is most unwelcome. Background In some recent regulatory initiatives, a criticism has arisen regarding some pipeline operators’ failure to properly account for ‘threat interaction’ in their […]

PL Risk Management—The Essential Elements of Risk Assessment

As the desire for more robust pipeline risk management grows, so too does the need for superior risk assessment.  A formal risk assessment provides the structure to increase understanding, reduce subjectivity, and ensure that important considerations are not overlooked.  Associated decision-making is therefore more consistent and reliable when formal techniques are used. But has pipeline […]

The Basic and Critical Elements of PoF Estimation

Probability of Failure Based on Basic Engineering Principles All plausible failure mechanisms must be included in the assessment of PoF.  Every failure mechanism must be properly measured by independently measuring the following three elements: Exposure (attack) – The unmitigated aggressiveness of the force or process that may precipitate failure.  This includes external forces, corrosion, cracking, […]