HSE Management & Vulnerability Assessment


Risk analysis as an approach has been a prominent form of identifying, evaluating and managing most forms of hazards. Initially this approach was developed to manage human health risks but the approach is now broadly applied to many aspects of potentially hazardous human behaviour ranging from financial services through to the nuclear industry.

In recent years there has been widespread acknowledgement of the significance of managerial and organisational failures in the causation of accidents. The activities and processes involved in managing safety have come under increasing scrutiny via the development of approaches for safety management and safety culture assessment. The Goldwater’s professional experience, however,allow to resolve many lacks that current approaches do not fully or explicitly address how safety management systems will actually fail in practice. Therefore, the Safety Culture Hazard and Operability (SCHAZOP) approach is defined into Goldwater’s culture as a means by which specific safety management vulnerabilities, and targeted resolution of such vulnerabilities can be identified.

Our main concern is situations (risk problems) with large potential consequences, large uncertainties, and/or ambiguities (related to the relevance, meaning, and implications of the decision basis; or related to the values to be protected and the priorities to be made), in particular terrorism risk. We look into the scientific basis of the quantitative risk assessments and the boundaries of the assessments in such a context. Based on a risk perspective that defines risk as uncertainty about and severity of the consequences (or outcomes) of an activity with respect to something that humans value we advocate a broad risk assessment approach characterizing uncertainties beyond probabilities and expected values. Key features of this approach are qualitative uncertainty assessment and scenario building instruments.

Traditionally, both academe and practitioners have tended to address fire safety by focusing on technical aspects and looking for the immediate causes of fire incidents or accidents after they have taken place. More recently, organisations have focused on assessing the consequences of the fire risk inherent in their operations pro-actively. However, fire safety still tends to be addressed in isolation, though fire loss is an emergent property. An organisation’s emergent property results from the interrelated activities of people who design it, manage it and operate it. There is still a need for a systemic approach to understand the systemic nature of fire safety.

At Goldwater has been developed a fire safety management system (FSMS) model that aims to maintain fire risk within an acceptable range in an organisation’s operations in a coherent way. This systemic approach can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess the effectiveness of existing safety management systems (SMS). It is hoped that this approach will lead not only to more effective management of fire safety, but also to more effective management of safety, health and the environment for any organisation.

We developed a process characterisation table that allowed us to analyse current assessments with regard to the following dimensions:

  • Impartiality
  • Transparency
  • Participation (of experts, stakeholders and lay people)
  • Scientific evidence base
  • Focus on uncertainties
  • Explicit values/ethics
  • Impacts considered
  • Retrospective/anticipatory
  • Considers narratives/worldviews/visions

As a result of the use of risk assessment across these different sectors a number of more specialised methods of risk assessment have developed, such as:

  • Human Health Risk Assessment
  • Ecological Risk Assessment
  • Environmental Risk Assessment (this includes human beings as a organism in the assessment
  • Economic Risk Assessment
  • Actuarial Modelling
  • Security Risk Assessment

This is what you can resolve throughout Goldwater advisory and consultancy services.