Risk Assessment and Christmas

posted Dec 14, 2012, 11:47 AM by Webadmin Safepark Consultancy
Here it shall be shown that the field of risk assessment can be used on all upcoming events and thus is an important planning tool. The diagram to the left shows a fault tree with the top event "Failed  Christmas" (many  risk researchers find it logical to place the top event anywhere, but at the top). Many things threaten Christmas - here we now get everything under control. Click on the fault tree to view a larger version.

A closer analysis of the possible causes shows only one of the type "Acts of God", namely "bad Christmas  weather"  (a  misunderstanding to think that  it's  meteorologist fault). Everything else can be traced to poor planning.

Take, for example, "bad Christmas presents" which is due either to your wish list being too poor, or that the givers could not afford it. The safest is here, that you buy all your Christmas presents yourself at your own expense.  A less  economically damaging variant is "to exchange Christmas gifts”. You buy for instance a pair of new slalom skies  that you're giving your wife. She gives you a beautiful sewing machine. In exchange - and Christmas is saved.

The diagram to the right shows a somewhat simplified action / error analysis for the Christmas tree procedure, i.e. getting the tree into the house, decorating it, and adding the candles. The simplification is due entirely to the complete analysis filling 24 A4-sheets. Click on the diagram to view a larger version. There are a few things to notice.

The study is far from the objective. Thus, the researcher estimated that it was unlikely that one did not discover that there was no foot on the Christmas tree, or that the tree had not been carried in. According to some otherwise quite controversial Russian researchers [Akad.Risk.Siber.Ghaz 27, 314(1877)] it is not so unlikely after all.

Again, planning is important. The analysis shows that fire risk is critical, referring to "Hazardous substance", it is recommended to have a supply carbon dioxide extinguishers at hand - or better yet, to spend Christmas outdoors.

Courtesy of the late HJSP editor of the periodical Dansk Kemi for many years and associate professor at DTU and teacher of risk assessment for chemical engineers for more than 20 years. First published in the December 1984 issue of Dansk Kemi in Danish. Original hand drawing redone using LibreOffice Draw. Translation provided by Google Translate and Safepark Consultancy, which wish you a very merry Christmas!

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