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Society for Risk Analysis (USA)
Annual Meeting,
6-9 December 2009
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Theme of Conference:
Risk Analysis: The Evolution of a Science

I attended this Annual Meeting; there, I:
(a) Offered a one-day workshop on risk management on Sunday, 6 Dec. 2009
(b) Presented a paper of risk assessment on Wednesday, 9 Dec. 2009

For a Report of the SRA Annual Meeting and my workshop and paper, Click HERE
For my Safety Credentials, Click HERE
For my other credentials, Click HERE

(a) My Workshop

Book Cover
Below for

*You may access my papers by clicking HERE

Risk Management for Movers and Shakers
Workshop #4, Sunday, 6 December 2009, All Day - 8am to 5pm

The workshop is aimed at the planners and managers (movers and shakers), and all who are responsible for conducting risk assessment and implementing risk controls at the workplace. The workshop will focus on current workplace safety management practices in industry, particularly construction. Responsibilities of various stakeholders in the value chain for personnel safety will be highlighted. The elusive concept of ‘safety culture’ will be clarified.

It will cover the basic principles of qualitative risk assessment by job safety analysis based on the likelihood of hazard occurrence and severity of its consequences, and combining them with a risk matrix. Extension to numerical rankings will be discussed. A major aim will be to address the increasing need for use of risk assessment as a proactive measure to reduce workplace accidents, both from legal and professional points of view, and at the same time convince the managers that safety is also good business. There will be a distinct international flavor to the presentation due to the extensive experience of the instructor in the United States, India, and Singapore.

The study material will include a complimentary copy of the instructor’s book: “Introduction to Risk Management” [Book cover shown at left], and his recent papers on the subject*.

No prior knowledge or experience of risk management will be expected from the participants. The course will start with the essential fundamentals and reach up to a working competency level. It will not get into scientific or mathematical abstractions, but deal with practical case studies and real-life everyday scenarios.

[Workshop Fee: Preregistration: $295, Onsite: $345]


(b) My Paper

[View of Baltimore]











Session W3-F : Use of Expert Elicitation and Subjective Information in Risk Analysis
Room: Homeland, 1:30-3:00pm
Towards a Universal Deca-Scale for Risk Assessment
Paper F.1, Wednesday, 9 December 2009, 1:30 to 1:50pm 

Risk is commonly assessed as a qualitative estimate derived by combining likelihood of occurrence of a hazard with severity of its consequences, each from three or more levels, via a ‘risk matrix’. Defining likelihood and severity in words leads to vagueness in level assignment, and wide variations between different industries and projects. Comparison of procedures and statistics across industries, and across countries with different languages is largely infeasible. Absolute quantification of likelihood and severity is practical only in a few cases where every input and output is fully quantifiable.

The best compromise is ranking of levels by giving numbers 1, 2, … to increasing likelihood and severity. Risk, taken as the product of the level ranks, is also a number. Field professionals are more comfortable with numerical assessments. Standardisation of these ranks is very important for consistency of data and robustness of conclusions. Only a common worldwide ranking scheme would enable universal application and evaluation – which is not possible now.

Author proposes a ‘Deca-Scale’ (1 to 10) for components of workplace risk, similar to Richter Scale, covering credible ranges of likelihood and severity in human experience. He explores different measures of risk likelihood and severity in Deca-Scale. As risk index now goes from 1 to 100, it automatically gives percentage measure of risk in a global context.

Author presents three practical examples of Deca-Scale applications. It would need collaboration of experts from various specialities to evaluate and agree upon common Deca-Scales for workplace activity. As humans are well accustomed to fixing a value for everything on a ‘scale of 1 to 10’, it should be possible to initiate efforts to develop Deca-Scales in a concerted worldwide effort.

Who knows, apart from getting all of us to talk the same language, in due course this may also raise safety culture, improve risk assessment and reduce accidents around the world!