2012 – Estimating Individual Risk

Kelly Maslin, Mark Foster, Len McDonald

A key requirement of assessing the tolerability of dam safety risks is the assessment of individual risk. The ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment provides guidance on acceptable levels of individual risk and some general guidance on the calculation of individual risk.
Individual risk is a key measure in the consideration of the tolerability of risk, ALARP and development of risk mitigation works. It is essential that there is consistency in the approach to estimating individual risk used across the dams industry.
This paper reviews the approaches taken to estimating individual risk across the dams industry both locally and internationally as well as the experience of other industries.
The paper includes a review of the various methods for estimating the vulnerability of individuals subjected to flood inundation based on historical fatality rates as well as identification of the individual most at risk
The paper then describes a method that has been developed based on the principles used for assessing individual risk due to other hazards, such as landslides. The method includes consideration of a range of factors such as warning time, temporal variation and vulnerability of the individuals most at risk. The method developed provides a transparent, defensible and pragmatic approach to estimating individual risk. Practical guidance and examples are also provided on the application of the method.
Keywords: individual, risk, exposure, fatality



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