International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management (23 papers in press)
by Neil R. Cashman, Michael G. Tyshenko, Ricky Cheung, Willy Aspinall, Michelle Wong, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: The recent detection of prion protein in widely used urine-derived fertility drugs has raised the possibility that prions from urine donors with (asymptomatic) prion disease could be present in these drugs. A high level of uncertainty exists regarding this issue. An international expert panel provided judgements related to prion disease transmission through fertility drug use in a structured expert elicitation. The elicitation gauged expert judgements about the uncertainty surrounding potential prion disease risks associated with urine-derived fertility drugs and emphasised the scientific ambiguity surrounding disease transmission risk factors associated with urine-derived fertility drugs. Group-aggregated responses indicate that the theoretical risk of prion disease transmission with urine-derived fertility drugs was judged to be very low. The experts judged recombinant fertility drugs produced with bovine serum to possess 10-fold lower risk than urine-derived fertility drugs. Fertility drugs made without fetal bovine serum were judged to present a risk approximately 1200 times lower than urine-derived counterparts. This elicitation indicates recombinant fertility drugs carry relatively less risk than urine-derived fertility drugs. However, the associated uncertainties are significant, and proactive surveillance of possible new routes of transmission of human prion disease warrants consideration of new scientific data as it becomes available.
Keywords: prion disease; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; urine; recombinant; fertility; transmission; expert elicitation; uncertainties.
Psychiatric morbidity as a risk factor for hospital inpatients safety: a cross-sectional study
by Roberta Mutti, Francesca Montali, Antonio Ferrari, Antonio Nouvenne, Fulvio Lauretani, Giovanna Campaniello, Carlo Marchesi
Abstract: Few studies have shown the relation between psychiatric morbidity and hospital care safety. Some studies emphasise the importance of proper management of care safety for patients treated in psychiatric settings. Therefore, it is of great importance to deeply analyse the psychiatric morbidity impact on the safety of patient care in non-psychiatric settings. A cross-sectional study has been carried out, based on a simple random sample of N = 941 psychiatric consultations collected over a three-year period (20122014) representative of N = 4548, sent to the Intensive Psychiatric Hospital Service by the wards of a university hospital. Demographic characteristics and psychiatric morbidity of hospital inpatients are associated with the four main outcomes/events due to the patients active participation in the care processes (patient fall, patients departure, suicide attempt or self-harm, and acts of violence against professionals).
Keywords: hospital safety; psychiatric morbidity; falls risk; suicide; self-harm; acts of violence against professionals; patient behaviours; hospital safety assessment.
Postal IEDs and risk assessment of work health and safety considerations for postal workers
by Matthew Grant, Mark G. Stewart
Abstract: Postal Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) provide criminals and terrorists with a convenient mechanism for delivering an energetic payload to an intended victim with little operational risk. Postal IEDs formed 7% of IED attacks reported in the West between 1998-2015, are often dispatched in groups and can bring postal systems to a standstill. Nearly 30% of postal IED explosions occur in the postal worker environment and over a third of the casualties caused by postal IEDs are postal workers. Postal IEDs are debatably a reasonably foreseeable cause of harm to postal workers, and should be considered under the work health and safety (WHS) constructs of many Western nations. This paper considers this problem, using a probabilistic risk assessment model to inform a cost-benefit analysis considering potential risk reduction options for postal workers. It identifies that the control measures identified were not cost-effective where only the direct WHS costs pertaining to unintentional postal IED detonation within the mail delivery system were considered given the risk levels identified.
Keywords: improvised explosive device; IED; terrorism; probabilistic risk assessment; work health and safety; postal bomb.
Evaluating and classifying the impact of individual risk on the delayed EPC hydropower projects in the developing countries of Asia
by Sy Hung Mai, Vatthanaly Siphada, Jianqiong Wang, Vinath Mekthanavanh, Htay Htay Hlaing, Pheng Sokliep
Abstract: Many hydropower projects in the developing countries of Asia have currently adopted the project delivery method of Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC). However, the EPC general contractors are facing many difficulties, resulting in schedule delays and considerable cost overrun. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the risks causing schedule delays of EPC hydropower projects in the developing countries of Asia. The study analysis and assessment of risks is based on surveyed questionnaires, which achieved the follow findings: (1) there are 21 main risks influencing on schedule delays; (2) scientific ranks influence every single risk on schedule delays; (3) provide a recommendation that could reduce or eliminate these risks on schedule delay of EPC hydropower projects. This study provides a valuable reference to help investors and contractors to finish on schedule to ensure the benefits when building an EPC hydropower project in the developing countries of Asia.
Keywords: EPC hydropower project; procurement risk; risk analysis and evaluation; risk control.
Dynamic interplay in the information security risk management process
by Martin Lundgren, Erik Bergström
Abstract: In this paper, the formal processes so often assumed in information security risk management and its activities are investigated. For instance, information classification, risk analysis, and security controls are often presented in a predominantly instrumental progression. This approach, however, has received scholarly criticism, as it omits social and organisational aspects, creating a gap between formal and actual processes. This study argues that there is an incomplete understanding of how the activities within these processes actually interplay in practice. For this study, senior information security managers from four major Swedish government agencies were interviewed. As a result, twelve characteristics are presented that reflect an interplay between activities and that have implications for research, as well as for developers of standards and guidelines. The studys conclusions suggest that the information security risk management process should be seen more as an emerging process, where each activity interplays dynamically in response to new requirements and organisational and social challenges.
Keywords: information classification; risk analysis; security controls; interplay; formal processes.
Portfolio composition and critical line: a methodological approach
by Agim Kukeli, Fitim Deari, Carmen Rocşoreanu
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate, at least pedagogically, the composition of an efficient portfolio. Principally, two scenarios are examined. In the first we intend to minimise the portfolio variance and achieve a desired level of return. To do so we find the optimal weights using the Lagrange multiplier method. Short sales of securities are allowed. This implies that negative weights can be found. In the second case, we obtain the optimal portfolio composition, considering that weights cannot be negative. This suggests that short sales of securities are not allowed, and the Kuhn-Tucker system is used. Results are examined in the light of the investors risk tolerance, and reveal that an investor who chooses an aggressive investment is focused more on return rather than risk. Conversely, when the investors risk tolerance decreased, funds were invested more in stocks with both lower return and risk.
Keywords: Lagrange multiplier; Kuhn-Tucker system; return; risk; critical line.
A probabilistic graphical models approach to model interconnectedness
by Alexander Denev, Adrien Papaioannou, Orazio Angelini
Abstract: In this paper, we show that using multiple models when executing a specific task almost unavoidably gives rise to interaction between them, especially when their number is large. We show that this interaction can lead to biased and incomplete results if treated inappropriately (which we believe is the current standard in the financial industry). We propose the use of probabilistic graphical models, which is a technique widely used in machine learning and expert systems, as a remedy to this problem. We discuss some numerical aspects of our approach that will be present in any practical implementation. We then examine, in detail, a practical example of using this method in a stress testing context.
Keywords: probabilistic graphical models; model interconnectedness; stress testing; machine learning.
Binary approaches to biological risks
by Ange-Helene Yebga Hot, Toualy Serge Ouina, Marie-Pierre Baudin-Maurin, Marina Koussemon, Jean-Michel Panoff
Abstract: Concerning biological risks, European Union and Governments policies mainly rely on two scientific classifications (2000/54/EC; 2009/41/EC). However, recent health concerns (e.g. Avian Flu Epidemic) and environmental damages (e.g. GMOs) have questioned the limitations of those categorisations, stressing the need for accurate tools to assess and manage biological risks. The aim of this study is to provide an original analysis of the biological risks, beyond the common categorisations, taking into account, by using binary approaches, the biological risks diversity. This research work has non-exhaustively identified 10 couples such as microbiology/ macrobiology, natural/provoked risks, naturally pathogenic biological agents/genetically modified organisms, indigenous/invasive states, health/environment, primary target/collateral consequences, synthetic/natural biology, exobiology/endobiology, proven/potential risks and assessment/management.
This present study will likely be useful to improve the decision-making process regarding biological risks.
Keywords: biological risk; biology; risk; hazard; assessment; management.
Special Issue on: Risk Assessment and Management of Carbon Capture and Storage A Canadian Perspective
by Nigel Bankes
Abstract: The Province of Alberta has assumed a leadership role in Canada in developing a legal and regulatory framework for encouraging the adoption of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. One element of that framework deals with liability issues. This paper reviews the different liability issues associated with CCS projects as well as the case for transferring liability post-closure to the government. The paper then examines how Alberta has chosen to accept a transfer that liability and how Alberta seeks to recover at least a portion of those costs from the injection industry though the mechanism of the Post-Closure Stewardship Fund. Some reference is made to the European Unions CCS Directive as a point of comparison.
Keywords: carbon capture and storage; law and regulation; liability.
by Patricia Larkin, William Leiss, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is included in the list of technological processes that could reduce point source carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. For geological storage projects, global frameworks for environmental and human health risk assessment (RA) and risk management (RM) have been developed within various regional and national jurisdictions as well as by non-government organizations since the 2005 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on CCS. This article provides an updated compendium of elaborated RA/RM frameworks in leading jurisdictions for CCS in the regulatory and non-regulatory contexts including online resources. Using a 3- or 4-step RA, there is an emphasis on storage site selection and characterization; an iterative approach is recommended for RM emphasizing monitoring and re-assessment; and other risk-based considerations such as communications and transparency are discussed more frequently in non-government guidance. Comprehensive risk estimation is not yet promoted.
Keywords: carbon capture; regulatory framework; risk assessment; risk management; Canada; international.
by Patricia Larkin, William Leiss, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot and demonstration projects began in Canada in the 1990s. This review of publicly available documentation considers the regulatory application and approval practice for four large Canadian projects that are either under construction or in operation. Results find that oversight of CCS projects is value chain specific and obtaining documentation can be challenging. However, technical risk assessment supporting approvals is moving forward, with an increasing range of chain component health and environmental risks being assessed using referenced approaches. Monitoring remains the primary risk management approach. Global risk estimation is not completed and unresolved issues about transparency in risk communication could have the potential to negatively impact broad public acceptance of CCS, and therefore project viability in the long run.
Keywords: carbon capture and storage; regulatory practice; Canada; risk assessment; risk management; risk communication; Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Act; Alberta Energy Regulator.
by Patricia Larkin, Robert Gracie, Ali Shafiei, Maurice Dusseault, Mirhamed (Araz) Sarkarfarshi, Willy Aspinall, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: With a focus on risk management (RM) in injection and storage for carbon capture and geological sequestration (CCS), an expert elicitation of scientific judgements quantified collective uncertainty ranges for a number of difficult environmental and human health risk challenges. Results suggest similarities and differences in opinions, an outcome that may be reflective of both the newness and the complexity of this technology. A suitable monitoring period was estimated at about a century; however, uncertainty was three orders of magnitude, with an upper (5th percentile) value of almost 1000 years. For selected low probability high impact georisks, only site selection and monitoring were considered very effective RM options. Monitoring, well integrity studies, emergency response plan, automatic emergency shut down system, and training were considered very or extremely effective in managing two risks more directly related to human health. Experts responded with a wide uncertainty spread for a regulated threshold of minor, major, and catastrophic leakage. A companion paper discusses elicitation findings for issues related to risk assessment.
Keywords: carbon capture and storage; expert elicitation; risk management; injection; sequestration; health; environment.
by Patricia Larkin, Robert Gracie, Ali Shafiei, Maurice Dusseault, Mirhamed (Araz) Sarkarfarshi, Willy Aspinall, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: Carbon capture and geological storage (CCS) is identified within the portfolio of mitigation options for climate change. Each value chain activity of large scale integrated projects (capture, transport, injection, and storage) includes uncertainties and hence potential risks with respect to both environmental and human health protection. With a focus on injection and storage, a structured elicitation of international experts provides quantified judgements and uncertainties, and understanding of relative risk of CCS activities. In the 0-50 year, 51-499 year, and >500 year time periods, the expert panel suggested an almost equal likelihood of storage leakage occurring, with a marked decrease from minor to major to catastrophic leakage (approximately >1 in 30; 1 in 103; 1 in 104, respectively); for the same time periods, the judgement of likelihood for major leakage that would result in measurable negative effects on human health or the environment was the same (approximately 1 in 103). Insights could stimulate further scientific deliberations about the reliable and effective deployment of this complex and interdisciplinary technological process. A companion paper discusses complementary findings for issues in CCS risk management.
Keywords: carbon capture and storage; expert elicitation; risk assessment; uncertainty; public health; environmental protection; performance; containment; injection; sequestration.
by Patricia Larkin, William Leiss, Joseph Arvai, Maurice Dusseault, Mamadou Fall, Robert Gracie, Anthony Heyes, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: This concluding paper of the Special Issue on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the Canadian context provides a brief overview of the findings from all contributions, followed by a description of the Canadian policy and regulatory backdrop for CCS at both the federal and provincial levels in active jurisdictions. An integrated risk management framework (IRMF) is proposed with reference to environmental and human health risk assessment and risk management frameworks published worldwide as well as risk management demonstrated in large scale Canadian CCS projects to date. Key features of the IRMF are the ten-step rational and transparent process, options to engage with and integrate wide-ranging government and non-government stakeholders on an ongoing basis, and incorporation of independent external review. The next generation of risk-based decision making is then applied to the IRMF for CCS.
Keywords: carbon capture and storage; risk assessment; risk management; Canada; framework; health; environment; injection; storage; policy context.
by Anthony Heyes, Bogdan Urban
Abstract: Carbon capture and storage has received a lot of attention in recent years due to its attractiveness as a potential solution for climate stabilization. Since it is based on a suite of mature, well known technologies, most of the cost reductions have already occurred. Recently adopted social cost of carbon figures to advise policies in the United States and Canada currently point towards lower benefits than costs from carbon capture and storage, but not always by a wide margin. It is difficult to make a case for large-scale deployment under these conditions, but they are subject to change as strands of the economic literature support significantly higher social cost of carbon estimates and upcoming commercial applications of carbon capture and storage to power generation may prove economically viable.
Keywords: social cost; benefit; cost; carbon; capture; storage; abatement; global; warming; greenhouse.
by Victoria Campbell-Arvai, Douglas Bessette, Lisa Kenney, Joseph Arvai
Abstract: This paper reviews five challenges faced during decision making about carbon management initiatives. The first of these challenges deals with behavioural and perceptual obstacles, which often lead to the introduction of systematic biases during decision making. The remaining four obstacles deal with the complexity associated with the carbon management problems themselves. These include neglecting the objectives and related measurement criteria, which will guide decisions among competing risk management options; the tendency to look for singular solutions to complex problems, rather than considering a broad array of options; a lack of explicit attention devoted to the full range of tradeoffs that should be considered when choosing among alternatives; and a failure to recognize that preferences, and the decisions that result from them, are fundamentally constructive in nature. We conclude by outlining a decision-aiding approach that has been shown to improve the quality of decisions about carbon management.
Keywords: decision making; carbon management; climate change; CCS; policy.
by William Leiss, Patricia Larkin
Abstract: This paper posits that an important goal of public engagement for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as being public and social acceptance for those projects. It argues that acceptability is the end of a long, logical chain of social interactions, which ideally starts with (1) the public perception of the risks and benefits associated with CCS; moves through (2) effective communication of risks and benefits by project proponents; (3) involves robust and credible measures for public engagement; and (4) results in authoritative decision processes that transparently reflect the results of engagement. Each of these components of acceptability is described with respect to both actual experience with CCS projects to date and the relevant literature. Conclusions point to the special importance of full transparency and public understanding of credible risk assessments for these projects.
Keywords: risk perception; benefit perception; risk communication; public engagement; stakeholder engagement; decision processes; public acceptability.
by William Leiss, Daniel Krewski
Abstract: Long lists of issues relevant to carbon capture and storage projects have been provided in a number of sources, encompassing the broad categories of technological risks, health and environmental risks, and societal risks. From these long lists a selection of ten major issues, broken down into three broad categories, has been made. The selected issues are: (1) Government and Industry Factors (competent regulatory oversight; adequate risk assessment and risk management frameworks; and supportive public policy architecture); (2) Environmental Risk Factors (adequate site-specific characterizations of geological formations for CCS storage sites worldwide; credible monitoring of storage site performance; and the possibility of leaking from storage); and (3) Socio-Economic Factors (tolerable economic costs; public perceptions of risks and benefits; information provision, effective communication, and stakeholder engagement; and social and public acceptability, including the use of decision support mechanisms). The paper emphasizes that what is unique about carbon capture and storage, considered as a major set of risk issues of global proportions, is how proactively these relevant major risks and risk factors have been identified and characterized by major institutional actors, especially industry and governments.
Keywords: issue awareness; environmental scan; risk management; environmental risks; government; industry; socioeconomic factors.
Special Issue on: Digital Management of Safety in Structural Complex Systems in Economics
Predictive modelling of economic safety using the example of an ecosystem of small and medium-sized business
by Marina Vlasova, Inna Kruglova, Andrey Khlutkov, Olga Stepchenkova
Abstract: The article examines the problems of monitoring the activities of small and medium-sized businesses in the framework of ensuring the economic security of the Russian Federation. The lack of economic information on the activities of small and medium-sized businesses hinders a competent assessment of the effectiveness of state support programs for business and the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. The authors propose to use methods of predictive modelling to improve the economic security of the state and create effective innovative business ecosystems.
Keywords: economic security; predictive modelling; small and medium business; entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Data structures, logical-probabilistic models and digital management of the safety and quality of systems in economics
by Eugene Solozhentsev, Ekaterina Karaseva
Abstract: In this paper, we are considering data structures in economic systems. These structures can be used to construct logical-probabilistic risk models intended for digital management of safety and quality of systems. Transformation of any database into a system of logical equations is described, which is the basis for constructing logical-probabilistic models of safety or quality. We give examples how the database is used to construct models of the credit risk in banking and the risk and efficiency of restaurants. Also, we present examples of using complex structure data to construct a model for management of a country's innovation system quality and simple structure data for constructing a model for assessment of the failure risk for one innovation. The special software programs Arbiter and Expa for management in economics are described. The term "digital management" is defined, and computer network components for digital management of systems in the economics are given.
Keywords: data structure; social and economic systems; logical-probabilistic risk models; safety; quality; efficiency.
The impact of the digitization of the financial industry on the modeling and pricing of financial assets
by Maria Sigova, Igor Klyuchnikov, Sergey Vasilev, Anna Zatevakhina
Abstract: Digital financial services continue to expand and replace the delivery of traditional financial services to the customers. The purpose of the study is twofold. First, to consider the growing interest in price modelling for financial assets, and second to trace the role of digitisation in finance on changes in the methodology of both modelling and pricing of financial assets. Digitisation automates the financial product and services, as a result of which the quality of financial services is increasing, the set of offers is expanding, and the financial markets are growing numerically. The transformation of finance to 'digit' allows us to provide a real basis for the widespread introduction of Bayesian methods of modelling and valuation of financial assets. The article introduces preliminary premises for the demarcation of classical and digital finance, as well as traditional and new methods of pricing and predictive modelling in connection with the wide implementation of Big Data and 'digit'.
Keywords: digital finance; financial modelling; methodology; Bayesian method in finance; pricing.
The digital management of structurally complex systems in economics
by Eugene Solozhentsev, Vasily Karasev
Abstract: As a result of the analysis we establish throughout the world, there is a critical situation in economic management. A way out of the critical situation, based on new knowledge, solving new tasks and event-based digital management of structural complex systems in economics, is proposed. The new objects in management of economics are chosen. They are as follows: public authorities, socio-economic systems, processes of quality management of the socio-economic life of a person, and safe living space. The management criteria are safety and quality of objects and systems. The new knowledge for management in economics is introduced. The knowledge covers new types of Boolean event-proposition, risk scenarios for system failure, and new types of logical and probabilistic risk model. We propose to solve the following new tasks in economics: modelling, analysis and management of one system and a group of logically unified systems (models); management of the State and development of systems; and quality assessment of control systems. The concept of digital management of structurally complex systems in economics is stated. The connection of digital economics and digital management is established. The special software for event-related managing economics is described. The content of the training course for additional education for economists and teachers is given.
Keywords: digital management; event-related management; structurally complex systems; government departments; economics; business; the safe space of mankind; knowledge; logical-probabilistic models; safety criterion; quality criterion.
Concerning the evaluation of the impact of ethics on a national economy's competitiveness
by Maria Bakumenko, Anatoliy Sigal
Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the impact of the ethical behaviour of firms on a national economys competitiveness, based on data given in Global Competitiveness Reports. The firm is a complex open dynamic socio-economic system. Firms sustainable development is impossible without a good reputation. In its decision making, the firm must comply with the code of ethics. The introduction of new technologies and innovations can result in extra risks and threats for the firms external environment. Firms must do no harm to their external environment. The firms ethical behaviour contributes to preservation of its competitiveness and, accordingly, to its safety. This research paper constructs several models (linear equations) of dependence between the ethical behaviour of firms and the Global Competitiveness Index. We checked the constructed models for adequacy using an F-test. Our findings testify to a rather strong impact of the ethical behaviour of firms on a national economy's competitiveness globally.
Keywords: firm; complex system; ethics; corporate reputation; corporate safety; competitiveness; sustainable development; national economy; advanced technologies; risk; threat; decision making; ethical behaviour of firms; Global Competitiveness Index.