Understanding how Quantitative Risk Assessments are perceived and used

Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRA) are considered to be a key part of the ‘toolkit’ for understanding safety risk at hazardous facilities across a wide range of scenarios.

At Gexcon, our X-Suite software offers a number of QRA tools including FLACS-Risk, FLACS-Riskcurves and Shell Shepherd.

As part of our commitment to helping make the world a safer place, we decided to reach out to our communities for a more detailed understanding of the value of QRAs.

The research showed that most engineers, safety experts and facility operators use a commercial tool to complete QRAs, which are generally used to comply with regulatory requirements.

QRAs are mostly commissioned during the design stages of new facilities and during operations.

More than 80 per cent of respondents believed that maintaining a ‘live’ view of risk throughout the lifecycle of a facility, plant or building to be important.

A total of 77 per cent said they were satisfied and very satisfied with QRAs as a reliable way to measure safety risk. And, 80 per cent considered them to be trustworthy.

While the survey suggests that industry feels QRAs are generally a trustworthy approach that add value, they also raised some common concerns.

Respondents noted that the effectiveness of QRAs are user and data availability dependent. Different inputs/assumptions can lead to very different answers with results being easily manipulated.

There were concerns that QRAs could be used as a box ticking exercise and did not take into account underlying factors such as management systems, safety cultures, working practises and additional safety features.

While practitioners accepted that there are large underlying uncertainties, they noted that these were not typically included in a meaningful quantitative way.

They also reported that it was often a challenge to communicate the results to stakeholders such as managers and executives to make them understandable from a cost and design perspective.

Chris Coffey,Global FLACS Product & Strategic Business Development Manager, said the results of the survey provided some useful insights.

“Many thanks to everyone who took part in our QRA survey. Gexcon is committed to helping make the world a safer place and we can only do that by having a detailed knowledge and understanding of the challenges being faced by engineers, facility operators and safety specialists working in the field.

The survey confirmed our own anecdotal evidence of how QRAs are used but also raised some interesting questions around issues such as uncertainty and reporting.

Taking these results, we can identify ways to keep improving our products and services to ensure we meet the needs of our clients.”

A total of 176 people took part in our survey which was conducted in October 2020.  

To find out more about Gexcon and our range of services, sign up to our e-newsletter.

Ensuring Safe Biogas Production using CFD-based Risk Analysis

Ensuring Safe Biogas Production using CFD-based Risk Analysis

In a bid to fight the effects of climate change, focus has been placed on reducing emissions from within industrial, energy, transportation, and construction sectors to ensure that future objectives are achieved. Biogas is positioned to be a key part of a sustainable solution. With the use of biogas and the number of production facilities increasing, focus must be placed…

Overcoming DSEAR challenges during COVID

Overcoming DSEAR challenges during COVID

The past 12 months has brought many challenges to the world of process safety which has affected the way we work and raised the question ‘How can we remain compliant with safety regulations during this difficult period?’. Whilst restrictions remain in place on being able to visit some client facilities, it’s still not impossible to ensure you remain compliant and…

Learnings From the Buncefield Oil Depot explosion: The Third Key Question.

Learnings From the Buncefield Oil Depot explosion: The Third Key Question.

To mark the15th anniversary of the Buncefield Storage Oil Storage Depot explosion which injured 40 people in 2005, we reflect on the third of three key questions raised by the Health and Safety Executive at the time of the criminal prosecution. Are you getting the right information to assure yourself that these systems are working effectively? At approximately 6am on…

E-Newsletter sign-up

Gexcon Makes The World a Safer Place