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Integrated Risk Management and Risk Communications

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  1. Integrated Risk Management and Risk Communications David DeGagne, Executive Director Centre for Risk Management Tel: 403-803-2367 Fax: 403-203-0706 Web: Email:

  2. Defining and Calculating Risk • Risk is defined as a measure of frequency and severity of harm due to a hazard (Safety is relative; it is a judgment of the acceptability of risk: an activity is considered safe if it’s risks are considered acceptable. Risk by its nature can be considered a rare event) Centre For Risk Management

  3. Defining and Calculating Risk (continued) • The common and convenient measure of risk due to a specific hazardous event is calculated by: Event Risk = Event Frequency x Event Consequence Centre For Risk Management

  4. Types of Risk • Individual versus societal risk, • Acute (safety) vs. chronic (health) risk, • Risk to human receptors, • Risk to environmental receptors, • Equipment, or property • Financial Risk Centre For Risk Management

  5. Integrated Risk Management Framework • Integrated Risk Management is the process by which the risks associated with hazardous activities are estimated, evaluated for acceptability, and, if required, reduced using risk control measures. Centre For Risk Management

  6. IRMP Flow Chart Centre For Risk Management

  7. Quantitative Risk Analysis • Is the process by which using risk estimation and evaluation the frequencies and consequences of events are combined to quantify risk. (Is the risk judged to be technically acceptable?, and, Do we need to do anything about it?) Centre For Risk Management

  8. Quantitative Risk Analysis • QRA is required because it is the responsible thing to do. Also, the public often demand it and if you don’t have it they will think you are hiding something. Centre For Risk Management

  9. Limitations to Quantitative Risk Analysis • There are no boundaries to probabilistic risk analysis as the worst conceivable accident case is only limited by the imagination of the person doing the assessment. Centre For Risk Management

  10. Conventional Uses of Risk Assessments • Land Use and Route Planning • Hazardous facility siting or expansion, • Hazardous material pipeline or transportation route planning, • Approval of land developments near existing hazardous installations • Facility Safety Management (worker and property) • Technology changes, • Facilities improvement • Incident Management • Emergency response, planning, and preparedness Centre For Risk Management

  11. Evaluation of Risk Acceptability • Acceptability of risk depends on the nature of the risk and on those who may bear it. • An acceptable level of risk always exists until someone tells you what it is. (there are levels of risk that people will accept, and other levels that they will not, risk acceptability carries all our social values) Centre For Risk Management

  12. Public’s Evaluation of Risk Acceptability • Society is much less willing to kill people in a single incident than from some factor over time, e.g., car crashes • Voluntary risks are those we assume due to some perceived benefit, e.g., smoking, white water rafting. • Involuntary risks are imposed on people by decisions made by others or by natural occurrence, e.g., second-hand smoke, and violent storms. Centre For Risk Management

  13. Risk Assessor’s Evaluation of Risk Acceptability • One life is not always the same as another (individual risk vs. societal risk). • Risk Comparisons should help to explain the numbers and make the proposed risk more acceptable. • Believe more in their computers than they do in people. Centre For Risk Management

  14. Evaluation of Risk Acceptability (continued) Centre For Risk Management

  15. Fundamental Reasons for Using Risk Communications • Issues are never clear cut (black or white). • Important to know what you don’t know. • Potential to contaminate your message with every word. • Once stated your communications cannot be put into reverse. • People can sense when you are not certain or honest. • People don’t want you to tell them that it could happen rather that it can’t happen. Centre For Risk Management

  16. Government Expectations For Risk Communications • Regulatory processes are under increasing scrutiny by the public • Industry must accept responsibility for public involvement programs (need for expertise and tools) • There be clear enforceable consequences to industry for failure to conduct effective public consultation programs. Centre For Risk Management

  17. Government Expectations Of Industry • Early in project planning process • Two way communication, transparent • Appropriate level of disclosure • Issues documented & dealt with seriously and expeditiously • Commitments are followed through • Communication efforts are ongoing Centre For Risk Management

  18. Government Initiatives • Clarifying requirements for public consultation and establishing measures to monitor and enforce the requirements. • assess training programs and develop new ones to be delivered by existing institutions • produce user-friendly documents to assist the public in asking industry about proposed facility developments that may impact them. • Improving public and industry access to information. Centre For Risk Management

  19. Government Initiatives (Cont.) • Determine the nature of local benefits from industrial development. • Promote collaborative models (Synergy Groups, ADR, etc.) • Audit industry’s public involvement programs and performance on their implementation • Stringent action for failure of a company to conduct effective public consultation programs. Centre For Risk Management