On Deciding Between the Use of Engineering Standards and Risk Analysis

by George W. Annandale, Steffen Robertson and Kirsten (U.S.), Inc, Lakewood, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Risk-Based Decision Making in Water Resources V


Risk analysis offers advantages for the optimal design and maintenance of infrastructure, but it is not always practical to apply due to the nature of certain types of infrastructure. This paper offers a methodology that can be used to decide whether to implement engineering standards or risk analysis for design and/or maintenance of infrastructure. A risk analysis procedure that was developed to determine the risk of failure of river bridges is used to demonstrate the technique. The risk analysis procedure consists of two levels of risk assessment (Levels I and II) and risk management. The Level I risk assessment allows the engineer to use the information that he would traditionally use to design a river bridge to assess its risk of failure. The outcome of the Level I analysis guides the engineer in making a decision as to whether engineering standards are applicable or whether a more advanced risk assessment (Level II) is required. The outline of the technique can be adapted to decide whether risk analysis or engineering standards should be used in the design and maintenance of other types of infrastructure.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Rivers and streams | Risk management | Bridge failures | Infrastructure | Bridge tests | Failure analysis | Maintenance

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