AS2885 SMS Risk Matrix

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Referenced Sections:  AS 2885.6 Section 3.5.4; AS 2885.6 Table 3.3.

Are we allowed to use a company specific risk matrix if it is more conservative than the AS 2885 risk matrix for SMSs?

(James Czornohalan) You can use it, but not substitute it. As stated in Part 6: "The use of Table 3.3 is mandatory for Safety Management Studies in accordance with this Standard." The best way is to use the AS 2885 matrix for supply, safety and environment, but use a corporate matrix for things like reputational and financial risk. The AS2885 matrix has been tested and calibrated and most regulators in Australia will take a dim view of you substituting it with another matrix.

(Susan Jaques) Besides, if the corporate matrix is more conservative, you may be applying controls at a higher cost that are over and above those required by AS2885.

If there are three or more people within the measurement length, you have applied engineering and procedural controls, but you have not eliminated the hazard. So isn't it difficult to reduce the "high" assessment for risk?" (question has been revised in an attempt to clarify)

(Jeff Jones) Not sure of the question here. But sounds like risk severity (used in risk assessment) is being mixed up with location class assessment (a function of defined population density within measurement length).

What is the Regulators preference when it comes to Qualitative / Semi-Quantitative vs Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRA)?

(Peter Tuft) All state technical regulators are represented on ME-038-01 and none have formally objected to the AS2885 qualitative risk assessment methodology. In certain states other authorities (e.g. planning bodies) have a preference for quantitative risk methods. As discussed at the seminar, there are very serious doubts about the validity of quantitative risk analysis methods for Australian pipelines.

See also the rather lengthy discussion on QRA in the AS2885 context.

(Susan Jaques) Linear assets are hard to quantify based on kilometers of differing scenarios. Australia has a very, very low frequency of incidents (lack of statistics). These factors make quantitative approaches ineffective.

Focusing on statistics doesn't really assist in preventing future incidents on linear assets that travel through such differing terrain, land use and population scenarios.