Safety and Risk Analysis

Safety and Risk Analysis

Instructor information

Module leader: Prof. Massimo Guarascio

Course information

ECTS: 6 credits
Status: Compulsory
Semester: 4
Hours: 30/18 (lectures/exercises)
Link: course page


The course aims to provide quantitative methods for safety analysis of complex systems according to all the in force regulations.
Specific aims:

  • Theoretical concepts to support the definition of safety goals and criteria of '"acceptability" and "compliance"
  • Role of geo-historical-statistical data set:
    - to measure the accuracy of assumptions and parameters
    - to evaluate the effectiveness of systems, subsystems and equipments
  • Role of models in Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Constitutive and organizational elements of complex systems
  • Types of system and risk factors
    - Statistical analysis of accidents and injuries data
    - Evaluation of empirical values of rates, conditional rates and empirical indicators of damage
    - Probabilistic analysis of cause-effect conditions (Fault Tree Analysis) representing the relationships between primary causes and incidental events
    - Probabilistic models of damage
    - Definition of safety targets
    - Cost-benefit analysis and Policy-price

Syllabus outline

  • Characteristics of Quantitative Probabilistic Risk Analysis:
    - Systemic approach to analyse sequences and interrelations in potential incidents or accidents, considering the logic chain of events
    - Quantification of risks establishing the basis of a performance-based approach for the assessment of safety standards
  • Event Tree Analysis (ETA):
    - Estimation of the probabilities of all the final consequence events
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA):
    - Statistical inference techniques for the estimation of the probability of the initiating events
  • Risk Evaluation:
    - Acceptability and safety criteria.
  • Risk and Safety Management:
    - Effectiveness and also cost-effectiveness of different safety measures
    - Frequency and consequence analysis of the scenarios evaluation

Essential reading list

  • Lecture notes and exercises provided by the instructor
  • S. Bernstein, R. Bernstein. Calcolo delle probabilità. Mc Graw-Hill
  • A. H-S. Ang, W. H. Tang Probability concepts in engineering planning and decision. Vol. II Decision Risk and Reliability, Wiley 1990

Recent theses