Risk assessment and RISK reduction in the new FprEN 13814-1:2018. Part 1

Risk assessment and RISK reduction in the new FprEN 13814-1:2018. Part 1

25 November 2018 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ by Gianni Chiari /

Gianni Chiari, member of various international technical committees on ride safety, looks at an extremely important topic.

Gianni Chiari /  Member of CEN/TC 152, ASTM F 24, ISO/TC254 Technical Committees 

I want to start out by saying that this article is not intended to be a training course on how to manage risk assessment for attractions. However, I do aim to give an idea of how important this activity is and how it should be developed, using language that is as simple and direct as possible, so as to be understandable to everyone, and not just insiders. “Risk analysis” is the term – not incorrect, but rather simply incomplete – commonly used to describe the risk assessment process, as reported in the technical standard EN ISO 12100 “Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction.”

Risk assessment originated in the field of machinery many years ago. Since 1989, with the publication of the Machinery Directive, it has become the cornerstone of the new European safety strategy. In reality, it dates back much earlier, and I believe that risk assessment has always been a part of all human activities. When you need to undertake any action in everyday life, isn’t it normal to automatically think about what might happen? To wonder: if I do this, what is the probability that things will actually go as I imagined they would? And if they don’t go as I expected, what possible damage might occur? With these simple ideas, I have already given a basic description of what risk is. It is any deviation from the expected results that might cause damage, that is, a combination of probability and severity: the probability that something will happen and the severity of the possible damage. 

So let’s go back to the beginning of what has since become a basic activity in all industrial design and elsewhere. I stated that at the end of the 1980s, risk assessment was carried out systematically. The first technical standards introduced the criteria of how this was to be developed, as well as some basic information necessary to be able to carry out such activities correctly and practically. Over the years, these international technical standards have evolved to give more and more information and criteria, so as to develop increasingly reliable and credible risk assessments. 

It should be said that most risk assessments are ‘qualitative’ in nature. Only when reliable and precise statistics are available, with very good knowledge of the product being analysed and, no less importantly, a lot of experience and history in using the product, can ‘quantitative’, or at least ‘semi quantitative’ risk assessments be carried out. 

How do qualitative and quantitative risk assessments differ? The difference lies in measuring risk with an adjective (for example, medium, high, catastrophic – i.e. qualitative analysis) or with a numerical index (for example, 3 on a scale of 1 to 16 – i.e. quantitative analysis). 

Taken from Games&Parks Industry November 2018, page 90

Read the –> second part

Gianni Chiari /  Member of CEN/TC 152, ASTM F 24, ISO/TC254 Technical Committees and “Una Giostra per Tutti” project manager.  info@technicalservices.it