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Environment

What is industrial risk and how is it managed?

Industrial risk is when there is the possibility of a (risk) event, where the consequences are quantitively known. What industry does is to manage the risks by implementing risk mitigation strategies. These strategies reduce the likelihood of an event occurring.

What many people do not understand that this is only half of the story. Even if a risk mitigation strategy reduces the likelihood of occurrence by (say) 50%, the consequence of the event if it occurs is the same, it hasn’t reduced. Only the likelihood has reduced. It is for this reason that KIC is so strongly focused on preserving the industrial area’s buffer zone. It is foolhardy for planners to approve residential development closer and closer to industry just because the risk of the occurrence of an incident is reduced.

Many heavy industrial companies located within the industrial area have individual risk contours that extend well beyond their boundaries. This is quite normal for a heavy industrial area, and it is why they require a substantial buffer zone separating the effects of industry’s presence from sensitive land uses.

Overview

The term cumulative risk refers to the aggregated sum of all industry risks as they relate to their potential impact on nearby residential communities.

Many heavy industrial companies located within the industrial area have individual risk contours that extend well beyond their boundaries. This is quite normal for a heavy industrial area, and it is why they require a substantial buffer zone separating the effects of industry’s presence from sensitive land uses.

It is important to understand that when individual industry risks are aggregated, the effects may not be linear. In other words, and for example, if one industry emits noise at a rate that does not affect nearby residential properties, the addition of another industry’s noise, which also doesn’t theoretically impact the residential area, may combine to generate a ‘noise impact’ issue. The combined noise impact can be measured as being at a certain level at a following along a line which is recorded as being a measured distance from the emitting industries. That data provides a (noise) contour.

Risk contours can be developed through measurement and modelling for a range of characteristics in addition to noise, for example, dust, light spill, air pollutants etc. There are other risk characteristics, such as when there is a catastrophic loss of containment for a dangerous chemical, or an explosion etc.

When event risk contours are known, or estimated, it means that industry will be required to manage those risks (to society) through the design and implementation of mitigation strategies.

Report

Over the years, the government has carried out studies of the cumulative risks emanating from the Kwinana Industrial Area. It is hoped that as the industrial area of the Western Trade Coast is now in an expansionary phase again, further studies will be commissioned.

Report Link

Contact Us

PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966

Tel: (08) 9419 1855

Email: admin@kic.org.au

Contact Us

PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966

Tel: (08) 9419 1855

Email: admin@kic.org.au