Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.
Since 2011, in the name of ‘humanitarianism’ and deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, the legal and political justification delivered by Greece to manage the refugee crisis is pre-emptive interception. Although part of the EU, Greece adopted its own strategy. These practices have also created high risks for migrants generally resulting in non-rescue episodes and push-back practices having lethal consequences to the life of the irregular migrant. Thus, this article provides an analysis of the Greek ‘compassionate border work’ policy, a practice known as push-back. It is argued that these push-back practices violate international obligations, notably the ‘right to life’, the ‘duty to search and rescue’, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the principle of non-refoulement.
Decision-making occurs several times an hour when working in high risk industry and an erroneous choice might have undesirable outcomes for people and the environment surrounding the industrial plant. Industrial decisions are very often made in a context of acute stress. Time pressure is a crucial stressor leading decision makers sometimes to boost up the decision-making process and if it is not possible then shift to the simplest strategy. We thus found it interesting to update the characterization of the stress factors impairing decision-making at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (France) in order to optimize decision making contexts and/or associated processes. The investigation was based on the analysis of reports addressing safety events over the last 3 years. Among 93 reports, those explicitly addressing decision-making issues were identified. Characterization of each event was undertaken in terms of three criteria: stressors, biases impairing decision making and weaknesses of the decision-making process. The statistical analysis showed that biases were distributed over 10 possibilities among which the hypothesis confirmation bias was clearly salient. No significant correlation was found between criteria. The analysis indicated that the main stressor was time pressure and highlights an unexpected form of stressor: the trust asymmetry principle of the expert. The analysis led to the conclusion that this stressor impaired decision-making from a psychological angle rather than from a physiological angle: it induces defensive bias of self-esteem, self-protection associated with a bias of confirmation. This leads to the hypothesis that this stressor can intervene in some cases without being detected, and to the hypothesis that other stressors of the same kind might occur without being detected too. Further investigations addressing these hypotheses are considered. The analysis also led to the conclusion that dealing with these issues implied i) decision-making methods being well known to the workers and automated and ii) the decision-making tools being well known and strictly applied. Training was thus adjusted.
Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.
Microbial contamination of ready-to-eat foods and beverages sold by street vendors has become an important public health issue. In developing countries including South Africa, health risks related to such kinds of foods are thought to be common. Thus, this study assessed knowledge, attitude and practices of street food vendors. Street vendors in the city of Mangaung Metro were investigated in order to assess their knowledge, attitudes and handling practices. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used in interviews to determine the status of the vending sites and associa. ted food-handling practices. Data was collected by means of a face-to-face interview. The majority of respondents were black females. Hundred percent (100%) of the participants did not have any food safety training. However, street vendors showed a positive attitude towards food safety. Despite the positive attitude, vendors showed some non-compliance when it comes to handling food. During the survey, it was also observed that the vending stalls lack basic infrastructures like toilets and potable water that is currently a major problem. This study indicates a need for improvements in the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Moreover, based on the results observed food safety and food hygiene training or workshops for street vendors are highly recommended.
E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).
This paper outlines the approaches taken to assess multi-hazard assessments. There is currently confusion in assessing multi-hazard impacts, and so this study aims to determine which of the available options are the most useful. The paper uses an international literature search, and analysis of current multi-hazard assessments and a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the chosen method. Findings from this study will help those wanting to assess multi-hazards to undertake a straightforward approach. The paper is significant as it helps to interpret the various approaches and concludes with the preferred method. Many people in the world live in hazardous environments and are susceptible to disasters. Unfortunately, when a disaster strikes it is often compounded by additional cascading hazards, thus people would confront more than one hazard simultaneously. Hazards include natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, etc.) or cascading human-made hazards (for example, Natural Hazard Triggering Technological disasters (Natech) such as fire, explosion, toxic release). Multi-hazards have a more destructive impact on urban areas than one hazard alone. In addition, climate change is creating links between different disasters such as causing landslide dams and debris flows leading to more destructive incidents. Much of the prevailing literature deals with only one hazard at a time. However, recently sophisticated multi-hazard assessments have started to appear. Given that multi-hazards occur, it is essential to take multi-hazard risk assessment under consideration. This paper aims to review the multi-hazard assessment methods through articles published to date and categorize the strengths and disadvantages of using these methods in risk assessment. Napier City is selected as a case study to demonstrate the necessity of using multi-hazard risk assessments. In order to assess multi-hazard risk assessments, first, the current multi-hazard risk assessment methods were described. Next, the drawbacks of these multi-hazard risk assessments were outlined. Finally, the improvements to current multi-hazard risk assessments to date were summarised. Generally, the main problem of multi-hazard risk assessment is to make a valid assumption of risk from the interactions of different hazards. Currently, risk assessment studies have started to assess multi-hazard situations, but drawbacks such as uncertainty and lack of data show the necessity for more precise risk assessment. It should be noted that ignoring or partial considering multi-hazards in risk assessment will lead to an overestimate or overlook in resilient and recovery action managements.
The Canadian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) use some portions of NUREG/CR-6850 in carrying out Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). An assessment for the applicability of NUREG/CR-6850 to CANDU reactors was performed and a CANDU Fire PRA was introduced. There are 19 operating CANDU reactors in Canada at five sites (Bruce A, Bruce B, Darlington, Pickering and Point Lepreau). A fire load density survey was done for all Fire Safe Shutdown Analysis (FSSA) fire zones in all CANDU sites in Canada. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 557 proposes that a fire load survey must be conducted by either the weighing method or the inventory method or a combination of both. The combination method results in the most accurate values for fire loads. An updated CANDU Fire PRA model is demonstrated in this paper that includes the fuel survey in all Canadian CANDU stations. A qualitative screening step for the CANDU fire PRA is illustrated in this paper to include any fire events that can damage any part of the emergency power supply in addition to FSSA cables.
The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.
Iraq is a middle income country where the road safety issue is considered one of the leading causes of deaths. To control the road risk issue, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, General Statistical Organization started to organise a collection system of traffic accidents data with details related to their causes and severity. These data are published as an annual report. In this paper, a review of the available crash data in Iraq will be presented. The available data represent the rate of accidents in aggregated level and classified according to their types, road users’ details, and crash severity, type of vehicles, causes and number of causalities. The review is according to the types of models used in road safety studies and research, and according to the required road safety data in the road constructions tasks. The available data are also compared with the road safety dataset published in the United Kingdom as an example of developed country. It is concluded that the data in Iraq are suitable for descriptive and exploratory models, aggregated level comparison analysis, and evaluation and monitoring the progress of the overall traffic safety performance. However, important traffic safety studies require disaggregated level of data and details related to the factors of the likelihood of traffic crashes. Some studies require spatial geographic details such as the location of the accidents which is essential in ranking the roads according to their level of safety, and name the most dangerous roads in Iraq which requires tactic plan to control this issue. Global Road safety agencies interested in solve this problem in low and middle-income countries have designed road safety assessment methodologies which are basing on the road attributes data only. Therefore, in this research it is recommended to use one of these methodologies.
The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.
In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.
This study explores how management addresses psychosocial risks in seven teams of engineers and technicians in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. The sample is from an ongoing quasi-experiment about psychosocial risk management in a manufacturing company in Sweden. Each of the seven teams belongs to one of two clusters: a positive cluster or a negative cluster. The positive cluster reports a significantly positive change in psychosocial risk levels between two time-points and the negative cluster reports a significantly negative change. The data are collected using semi-structured interviews. The results of the computer aided thematic analysis show that there are more differences than similarities when comparing the risk treatment actions taken between the two clusters. Findings show that the managers in the positive cluster use more enabling actions that foster and support formal and informal relationship building. In contrast, managers that use less enabling actions hinder the development of positive group processes and contribute negative changes in psychosocial risk levels. This exploratory study sheds some light on how management can influence significant positive and negative changes in psychosocial risk levels during a risk management process.
This research explored sexual identity for women with physical disability, both congenital and acquired. It also explored whether exposure to violence or negative risk-taking had played a role in their intimate relationships. This phenomenological research used semi-structured interviews and photo elicitation with the researcher’s insider knowledge adding experiential substance and understanding to the discussion. Findings confirm sexuality for women with physical disability is marginalised and de-gendered making it less of a priority for professionals and policy makers and emphasising the need to more effectively support women with disability in relation to their sexuality, sexual expression and violence.
Inhalation hazards are associated with potentially injurious exposure and increased risk for lung diseases, within the bauxite mining industry, especially for the smelter workers. Smoking is related to decreased lung function and leads to chronic lung diseases. This study had the objective to evaluate whether smoking is related to functional and radiographic respiratory changes in retired bauxite mining workers. Methods: This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study involving the analysis of database information of 140 retired bauxite mining workers from Poços de Caldas-MG evaluated at Worker’s Health Reference Center and at the Social Security Brazilian National Institute, from July 1st, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. The workers were divided into three groups: non-smokers (n = 47), ex-smokers (n = 46), and smokers (n = 47). The data included: age, gender, spirometry results, and the presence or not of pulmonary pleural and/or parenchymal changes in chest radiographs. Chi-Squared test was used (p < 0,05). Results: In the smokers’ group, 83% of spirometry tests and 64% of chest x-rays were altered. In the non-smokers’ group, 19% of spirometry tests and 13% of chest x-rays were altered. In the ex-smokers’ group, 35% of spirometry tests and 30% of chest x-rays were altered. Most of the results were statistically significant. Results demonstrated a significant difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ groups in regard to spirometric and radiographic pulmonary alterations. Ex-smokers’ and non-smokers’ group demonstrated better results when compared to the smokers’ group in relation to altered spirometry and radiograph findings. These data may contribute to planning strategies to enhance smoking cessation programs within the bauxite mining industry.
Economic growth is seen as the increase in the production capacity of a country. It enables a country to produce more and more material wealth and social benefits. Today, the success of any product on the market is closely related to the issue of branding. The brand is a source of information for a user/consumer, which helps to simplify the choice of goods and reduce consumer risk. The paper studies the role of branding in order to promote Georgian tea brands. The main focus of the research is directed to consumer attitudes regarding Georgian tea brands. The methodology of the paper is based on marketing research. The findings study revealed that the majority of consumers prefer foreign tea brands. The final part of the article presents the main recommendations.
Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.
The main purpose of this research is to discover what causes death in children of the Wayuu community, and deeply analyze those results in order to take corrective measures to properly control infant mortality. We consider important to determine the reasons that are producing early death in this specific type of population, since they are the most vulnerable to high risk environmental conditions. In this way, the government, through competent authorities, may develop prevention policies and the right measures to avoid an increase of this tragic fact. The methodology used to develop this investigation is data mining, which consists in gaining and examining large amounts of data to produce new and valuable information. Through this technique it has been possible to determine that the child population is dying mostly from malnutrition. In short, this technique has been very useful to develop this study; it has allowed us to transform large amounts of information into a conclusive and important statement, which has made it easier to take appropriate steps to resolve a particular situation.
Trees in the university environment are uniquely position; however, they can also present a millstone to the infrastructure and humans they coexist with. The numerous benefits of trees can be negated due to poor tree health and anthropogenic activities and as such can become hazardous. The study aims at evaluating the hazardous status of avenue trees in University of Port Harcourt. Data were collected from all the avenue trees within the selected major roads in the University. Tree growth variables were measured and health condition of the avenue trees were assessed as an indicator of some structural defects. The hazard status of the avenue trees was determined. Several tree species were used as avenue trees in the University however, Azadirachta indica (81%) was found to be most abundant. The result shows that only 0.3% avenue tree species was found to pose severe harzard in Abuja part of the University. Most avenue trees (55.2%) were rated as medium hazard status. Due to the danger and risk associated with hazardous trees, the study recommends that good and effective management strategies be implemented so as to prevent future damages from trees with small or medium hazard status.
Analysing the world banking sector, we realize that traditional risk measurement methodologies no longer reflect the actual scenario with uncertainty and leave out events that can change the dynamics of markets. Considering this, regulators and financial institutions began to search more realistic models. The aim is to include external influences and interdependencies between agents, to describe and measure the operationalization of these complex systems and their risks in a more coherent and credible way. Within this context, X-Events are more frequent than assumed and, with uncertainties and constant changes, the concept of antifragility starts to gain great prominence in comparison to others methodologies of risk management. It is very useful to analyse whether a system succumbs (fragile), resists (robust) or gets benefits (antifragile) from disorder and stress. Thus, this work proposes the creation of the Banking Antifragility Index (BAI), which is based on the calculation of a triangular fuzzy number – to "quantify" qualitative criteria linked to antifragility.
Increasing the level of exterior insulation in residential buildings is a popular way for improving the thermal characteristic of building enclosure and reducing heat loss. However, the layout and properties of materials composing the wall have a great effect on moisture accumulation within the wall cavity, long-term durability of a wall as well as the structural performance. A one-dimensional hygrothermal modeling has been performed to investigate moisture condensation risks and the drying capacity of standard 2×4 and 2×6 light wood-frame wall assemblies including exterior low-permeance extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation. The analysis considered two different wall configurations whereby the rigid insulation board was placed either between Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sheathing and the stud or outboard to the structural sheathing. The thickness of the insulation varied between 0 mm and 50 mm and the analysis has been conducted for eight different locations in Canada, covering climate zone 4 through zone 8. Results show that the wall configuration with low-permeance insulation inserted between the stud and OSB sheathing accumulates more moisture within the stud cavity, compared to the assembly with the same insulation placed exterior to the sheathing. On the other hand, OSB moisture contents of the latter configuration were markedly higher. Consequently, the analysis of hygrothermal performance investigated and compared moisture accumulation in both the OSB and stud cavity. To investigate the structural performance of the wall and the effect of soft insulation layer inserted between the sheathing and framing, forty nail connection specimens were tested. Results have shown that both the connection strength and stiffness experience a significant reduction as the insulation thickness increases. These results will be compared with results from a full-scale shear wall tests in order to investigate if the capacity of shear walls with insulated sheathing would experience a similar reduction in structural capacities.
Solar thermal power plants using parabolic trough collectors (PTC) are currently a powerful technology for generating electricity. Most of these solar power plants use thermal oils as heat transfer fluid. The latter is heated in the solar field and transfers the heat absorbed in an oil-water heat exchanger for the production of steam driving the turbines of the power plant. Currently, we are seeking to develop PTCs with direct steam generation (DSG). This process consists of circulating water under pressure in the receiver tube to generate steam directly into the solar loop. This makes it possible to reduce the investment and maintenance costs of the PTCs (the oil-water exchangers are removed) and to avoid the environmental risks associated with the use of thermal oils. The pressure drops in these systems are an important parameter to ensure their proper operation. The determination of these losses is complex because of the presence of the two phases, and most often we limit ourselves to describing them by models using empirical correlations. A comparison of these models with experimental data was performed. Our calculations focused on the evolution of the pressure of the liquid-vapor mixture along the receiver tube of a PTC-DSG for pressure values and inlet flow rates ranging respectively from 3 to 10 MPa, and from 0.4 to 0.6 kg/s. The comparison of the numerical results with experience allows us to demonstrate the validity of some models according to the pressures and the flow rates of entry in the PTC-DSG receiver tube. The analysis of these two parameters’ effects on the evolution of the pressure along the receiving tub, shows that the increase of the inlet pressure and the decrease of the flow rate lead to minimal pressure losses.
Action research is a qualitative research methodology, which leads the researcher to delve into the problems of a community in order to understand its needs in depth and finally, to propose actions that lead to a change of social paradigm. Although this methodology had its beginnings in the human sciences, it has attracted increasing interest and acceptance in the field of information systems research since the 1990s. The countless possibilities offered nowadays by the use of Information Technologies (IT) in the development of different socio-economic activities have meant a change of social paradigm and the emergence of the so-called information and knowledge society. According to this, governments, large corporations, small entrepreneurs and in general, organizations of all kinds are using IT to virtualize their processes, taking them from the physical environment to the digital environment. However, there is a potential risk for organizations related with exposing valuable information without an appropriate framework for protecting it. This paper shows progress in the development of a methodological design to manage the information security risks associated with the IT-based processes virtualization, by applying the principles of the action research methodology and it is the result of a systematic review of the scientific literature. This design consists of seven fundamental stages. These are distributed in the three stages described in the action research methodology: 1) Observe, 2) Analyze and 3) Take actions. Finally, this paper aims to offer an alternative tool to traditional information security management methodologies with a view to being applied specifically in the planning stage of IT-based process virtualization in order to foresee risks and to establish security controls before formulating IT solutions in any type of organization.
A need exists to identify the sources of risks associated with the process automation systems within petrochemical companies or similar energy related industries. These companies use many different process automation technologies in its value chain. A crucial part of the process automation system is the information technology component featuring in the supervisory control layer. The ever-changing technology within the process automation layers and the rate at which it advances pose a risk to safe and predictable automation system performance. The age of the automation equipment also provides challenges to the operations and maintenance managers of the plant due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts. The main objective of this research was to determine the risk sources associated with the equipment that is part of the process automation systems. A secondary objective was to establish whether technology managers and technicians were aware of the risks and share the same viewpoint on the importance of the risks associated with automation systems. A conceptual model for risk sources of automation systems was formulated from models and frameworks in literature. This model comprised six categories of risk which forms the basis for identifying specific risks. This model was used to develop a questionnaire that was sent to 172 instrument technicians and technology managers in the company to obtain primary data. 75 completed and useful responses were received. These responses were analyzed statistically to determine the highest risk sources and to determine whether there was difference in opinion between technology managers and technicians. The most important risks that were revealed in this study are: 1) the lack of skilled technicians, 2) integration capability of third-party system software, 3) reliability of the process automation hardware, 4) excessive costs pertaining to performing maintenance and migrations on process automation systems, and 5) requirements of having third-party communication interfacing compatibility as well as real-time communication networks.
Over recent years, due to increased population and increased waste production, groundwater protection has become more important, therefore, designing engineered barrier systems such as landfill liners to prevent the entry of leachate into groundwater should be done with greater accuracy. These measures generally involve the application of low permeability soils such as clays. Bentonite is a natural clay with low permeability which makes it a suitable soil for using in liners. Also zeolite with high cation exchange capacity can help to reduce of hazardous materials risk. Bentonite expands when wet, absorbing as much as several times its dry mass in water. This property may effect on some structural properties of soil such as shear strength. In present study, shear strength parameters are determined by both leachates polluted and not polluted bentonite-amended zeolite soil with mixing rates (B/Z) of 5%-10% and 20% with unconfined compression test to obtain the differences. It is shown that leachate presence causes reduction in resistance in general.
In this research, the risk assessment of radiation hazard for the Research Nuclear Reactor has been studied. In the current study, the MCNPx computational code has been used and coupled with a developed program using MATLAB software to evaluate Total Effective Dose Equivalent (TEDE) and cancer risk according to the BEIR equations for various human organs. In this study, the risk assessment of cancer has been calculated for ten years after exposure, in each of body organs of different ages and sexes. Also, the risk assessment of cancer has been calculated in each of body organs of different ages and sexes due to exposure after the retirement of the reactor staff. According to obtained results, a conservative whole-body dose rate, during a year, is 0.261 Sv and the probability the cancer risk for women is more than men and for children is more than adults. It has been shown that thyroid cancer was more possible than others.
Cognitive decline and frailty is apparent in older adults leading to an increased likelihood of the risk of falling. Currently health care professionals have to make professional decisions regarding such risks, and hence make difficult decisions regarding the future welfare of the ageing population. This study uses health data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), focusing on adults over the age of 50 years, in order to analyse health risk factors and predict the likelihood of falls. This prediction is based on the use of machine learning algorithms whereby health risk factors are used as inputs to predict the likelihood of falling. Initial results show that health risk factors such as long-term health issues contribute to the number of falls. The identification of such health risk factors has the potential to inform health and social care professionals, older people and their family members in order to mitigate daily living risks.