International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management (7 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.