Risk analysis for potential accidental releases in the context of corporate environmental management

Nina Wessberg, Jyrki Tiihonen, Yngve Malmen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


    The management of accidental releases is an important element of environmental and risk management in companies. However, a risk analysis is often carried out only from the point of view of occupational safety or other kinds of direct human protection, and not in the context of overall environmental protection. In this paper, a method for the identification and assessment of potential accidental releases to the environment is described as a tool for overall environmental management. Risk analysis methods are often designed for separate areas, like for instance occupational safety. Environmental risk analyses, in turn, often only assess the consequences of chemical leaks and do not address how and why leaks occur. On the other hand, the identification of hazards is often concentrated on either technical details or organisational aspects. However, in overall environmental management and in prevention of potential accidental releases, both technical details and organisational aspects are equally important elements. VTT Automation have developed and applied risk analysis methods in an environmental context for about ten years. The latest version of this method, called SARA, has been developed in a research project (during 1998-2000) together with various companies. SARA is a socio-technical method that allows the integration of different kinds of aspects of the management of potential accidental releases in the activity and process models used. SARA has now been applied to five chemical and forest industry sites. In addition, representatives of another five industry sites are interviewed to find out the actual practices concerning the risk analysis of accidental releases in the context of corporate environmental management. This paper is based on these experiences. The activity and process models, which form the basis of SARA, are created in brainstorming sessions involving the plant personnel. The discussions of the working groups are then directed based on these models. The model allows for systematic thorough environmental hazard identification and communication, which is valuable in overall environmental management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event11th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis - Europe: New Risk Frontiers for a New Europe - Lisbon, Portugal
    Duration: 23 May 200127 May 2001


    Conference11th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis - Europe


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