International Science Index

109
10010812
Canada Deuterium Uranium Updated Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment Model for Canadian Nuclear Plants
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
51
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108
10010826
Prioritization Assessment of Housing Development Risk Factors: A Fuzzy Hierarchical Process-Based Approach
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
34
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107
10010715
Impact of Changes of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting on the Indicators of the Financial Statement
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
110
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106
10010454
The Risk Assessment of Cancer Risk during Normal Operation of Tehran Research Reactor Due to Radioactive Gas Emission
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
138
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105
10010213
Lead and Cadmium Spatial Pattern and Risk Assessment around Coal Mine in Hyrcanian Forest, North Iran
Abstract:

In this study, the effect of coal mining activities on lead and cadmium concentrations and distribution in soil was investigated in Hyrcanian forest, North Iran. 16 plots (20×20 m2) were established by systematic-randomly (60×60 m2) in an area of 4 ha (200×200 m2-mine entrance placed at center). An area adjacent to the mine was not affected by the mining activity; considered as the controlled area. In order to investigate soil lead and cadmium concentration, one sample was taken from the 0-10 cm in each plot. To study the spatial pattern of soil properties and lead and cadmium concentrations in the mining area, an area of 80×80m2 (the mine as the center) was considered and 80 soil samples were systematic-randomly taken (10 m intervals). Geostatistical analysis was performed via Kriging method and GS+ software (version 5.1). In order to estimate the impact of coal mining activities on soil quality, pollution index was measured. Lead and cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in mine area (Pb: 10.97±0.30, Cd: 184.47±6.26 mg.kg-1) in comparison to control area (Pb: 9.42±0.17, Cd: 131.71±15.77 mg.kg-1). The mean values of the PI index indicate that Pb (1.16) and Cd (1.77) presented slightly polluted. Results of the NIPI index showed that Pb (1.44) and Cd (2.52) presented slight pollution and moderate pollution respectively. Results of variography and kriging method showed that it is possible to prepare interpolation maps of lead and cadmium around the mining areas in Hyrcanian forest. According to results of pollution and risk assessments, forest soil was contaminated by heavy metals (lead and cadmium); therefore, using reclamation and remediation techniques in these areas is necessary.

Paper Detail
283
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104
10009922
A Risk Assessment for the Small Hive Beetle Based on Meteorological Standard Measurements
Abstract:

The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a parasite for honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, and was recently introduced to the European continent, accidentally. Based on the literature, a model was developed by using regional meteorological variables (daily values of minimum, maximum and mean air temperature as well as mean soil temperature at 50 mm depth) to calculate the time-point of hive invasion by A. tumida in springtime, the development duration of pupae as well as the number of generations of A. tumida per year. Luxembourg was used as a test region for our model for 2005 to 2013. The model output indicates a successful surviving of the Small Hive Beetle in Luxembourg with two up to three generations per year. Additionally, based on our meteorological data sets a first migration of SHB to apiaries can be expected from mid of March up to April. Our approach can be transferred easily to other countries to estimate the risk potential for a successful introduction and spreading of A. tumida in Western Europe.

Paper Detail
302
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103
10009935
The Establishment of Probabilistic Risk Assessment Analysis Methodology for Dry Storage Concrete Casks Using SAPHIRE 8
Abstract:

To understand the risk for dry storage concrete casks in the cask loading, transfer, and storage phase, the purpose of this research is to establish the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) analysis methodology for dry storage concrete casks by using SAPHIRE 8 code. This analysis methodology is used to perform the study of Taiwan nuclear power plants (NPPs) dry storage system. The process of research has three steps. First, the data of the concrete casks and Taiwan NPPs are collected. Second, the PRA analysis methodology is developed by using SAPHIRE 8. Third, the PRA analysis is performed by using this methodology. According to the analysis results, the maximum risk is the multipurpose canister (MPC) drop case.

Paper Detail
296
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102
10009846
A Fuzzy TOPSIS Based Model for Safety Risk Assessment of Operational Flight Data
Abstract:
Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) program assists an operator in aviation industries to identify, quantify, assess and address operational safety risks, in order to improve safety of flight operations. FDM is a powerful tool for an aircraft operator integrated into the operator’s Safety Management System (SMS), allowing to detect, confirm, and assess safety issues and to check the effectiveness of corrective actions, associated with human errors. This article proposes a model for safety risk assessment level of flight data in a different aspect of event focus based on fuzzy set values. It permits to evaluate the operational safety level from the point of view of flight activities. The main advantages of this method are proposed qualitative safety analysis of flight data. This research applies the opinions of the aviation experts through a number of questionnaires Related to flight data in four categories of occurrence that can take place during an accident or an incident such as: Runway Excursions (RE), Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), Mid-Air Collision (MAC), Loss of Control in Flight (LOC-I). By weighting each one (by F-TOPSIS) and applying it to the number of risks of the event, the safety risk of each related events can be obtained.
Paper Detail
360
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101
10009608
Tools and Techniques in Risk Assessment in Public Risk Management Organisations
Abstract:

Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.

Paper Detail
385
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100
10009568
Safety Climate Assessment and Its Impact on the Productivity of Construction Enterprises
Abstract:

Research background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. Increasing demand for new construction projects unfortunately still is linked to high level of occupational accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to implement concrete actions while dealing with scaffolds and risk assessment in construction industry, the way on doing assessment and liability of assessment is critical for both construction workers and regulatory framework. Unfortunately, professionals, who tend to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge when taking decisions regarding risk assessment, may show lack of reliability in checking the results of decisions taken. Purpose of the article: The aim was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with Risk Assessment Model (RAM) use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and safety climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A RAM has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. This project includes research carried out by teams of researchers on over 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal, under which over 450 individual research cycles were carried out. The conducted research trials included variable conditions of employee exposure to harmful physical and chemical factors, variable levels of stress of employees and differences in behaviors and habits of staff. Genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and value added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found that the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing the unsafe chain leading to the accident rather than the workload, or concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.

Paper Detail
346
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99
10008737
Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works
Abstract:

People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavourable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However, use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been a perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). In the paper, correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building are presented. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in a worker’s inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration and increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries

Paper Detail
422
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98
10008920
Human Factors as the Main Reason of the Accident in Scaffold Use Assessment
Abstract:

Main goal of the research project is Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) formulation, developed for the assessment of risk levels as a various construction process stages with various work trades. Finally, in 2016, the project received financing by the National Center for Research and development according to PBS3/A2/19/2015–Research Grant. The presented data, calculations and analyzes discussed in this paper were created as a result of the completion on the first and second phase of the PBS3/A2/19/2015 project. Method: One of the arms of the research project is the assessment of worker visual concentration on the sight zones as well as risky visual point inadequate observation. In this part of research, the mobile eye-tracker was used to monitor the worker observation zones. SMI Eye Tracking Glasses is a tool, which allows us to analyze in real time and place where our eyesight is concentrated on and consequently build the map of worker's eyesight concentration during a shift. While the project is still running, currently 64 construction sites have been examined, and more than 600 workers took part in the experiment including monitoring of typical parameters of the work regimen, workload, microclimate, sound vibration, etc. Full equipment can also be useful in more advanced analyses. Because of that technology we have verified not only main focus of workers eyes during work on or next to scaffolding, but we have also examined which changes in the surrounding environment during their shift influenced their concentration. In the result of this study it has been proven that only up to 45.75% of the shift time, workers’ eye concentration was on one of three work-related areas. Workers seem to be distracted by noisy vehicles or people nearby. In opposite to our initial assumptions and other authors’ findings, we observed that the reflective parts of the scaffoldings were not more recognized by workers in their direct workplaces. We have noticed that the red curbs were the only well recognized part on a very few scaffoldings. Surprisingly on numbers of samples, we have not recognized any significant number of concentrations on those curbs. Conclusion: We have found the eye-tracking method useful for the construction of the SURAM model in the risk perception and worker’s behavior sub-modules. We also have found that the initial worker's stress and work visual conditions seem to be more predictive for assessment of the risky developing situation or an accident than other parameters relating to a work environment.

Paper Detail
405
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97
10008980
Comprehensive Risk Assessment Model in Agile Construction Environment
Abstract:

The article focuses on a developed comprehensive model to be used in an agile environment for the risk assessment and selection based on multi-attribute methods. The model is based on a multi-attribute evaluation of risk in construction, and the determination of their optimality criterion values are calculated using complex Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods. The model may be further applied to risk assessment in an agile construction environment. The attributes of risk in a construction project are selected by applying the risk assessment condition to the construction sector, and the construction process efficiency in the construction industry accounts for the agile environment. The paper presents the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment. It provides a background and a description of the proposed model and the developed analysis of the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment with the criteria.

Paper Detail
390
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96
10009149
Incorporation of Safety into Design by Safety Cube
Abstract:
Safety is often seen as a requirement or a performance indicator through the design process, and this does not always result in optimally safe products or systems. This paper suggests integrating the best safety practices with the design process to enrich the exploration experience for designers and add extra values for customers. For this purpose, the commonly practiced safety standards and design methods have been reviewed and their common blocks have been merged forming Safety Cube. Safety Cube combines common blocks for design, hazard identification, risk assessment and risk reduction through an integral approach. An example application presents the use of Safety Cube for design of machinery.
Paper Detail
384
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95
10008426
Estimating Affected Croplands and Potential Crop Yield Loss of an Individual Farmer Due to Floods
Abstract:

Farmers who are living in flood-prone areas such as coasts are exposed to storm surges increased due to climate change. Crop cultivation is the most important economic activity of farmers, and in the time of flooding, agricultural lands are subject to inundation. Additionally, overflow saline water causes more severe damage outcomes than riverine flooding. Agricultural crops are more vulnerable to salinity than other land uses for which the economic damages may continue for a number of years even after flooding and affect farmers’ decision-making for the following year. Therefore, it is essential to assess what extent the agricultural areas are flooded and how much the associated flood damage to each individual farmer is. To address these questions, we integrated farmers’ decision-making at farm-scale with flood risk management. The integrated model includes identification of hazard scenarios, failure analysis of structural measures, derivation of hydraulic parameters for the inundated areas and analysis of the economic damages experienced by each farmer. The present study has two aims; firstly, it attempts to investigate the flooded cropland and potential crop damages for the whole area. Secondly, it compares them among farmers’ field for three flood scenarios, which differ in breach locations of the flood protection structure. To achieve its goal, the spatial distribution of fields and cultivated crops of farmers were fed into the flood risk model, and a 100-year storm surge hydrograph was selected as the flood event. The study area was Pellworm Island that is located in the German Wadden Sea National Park and surrounded by North Sea. Due to high salt content in seawater of North Sea, crops cultivated in the agricultural areas of Pellworm Island are 100% destroyed by storm surges which were taken into account in developing of depth-damage curve for analysis of consequences. As a result, inundated croplands and economic damages to crops were estimated in the whole Island which was further compared for six selected farmers under three flood scenarios. The results demonstrate the significance and the flexibility of the proposed model in flood risk assessment of flood-prone areas by integrating flood risk management and decision-making.

Paper Detail
475
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94
10008513
Development of a Multi-Factorial Instrument for Accident Analysis Based on Systemic Methods
Abstract:

The present research is built on three major pillars, commencing by making some considerations on accident investigation methods and pointing out both defining aspects and differences between linear and non-linear analysis. The traditional linear focus on accident analysis describes accidents as a sequence of events, while the latest systemic models outline interdependencies between different factors and define the processes evolution related to a specific (normal) situation. Linear and non-linear accident analysis methods have specific limitations, so the second point of interest is mirrored by the aim to discover the drawbacks of systemic models which becomes a starting point for developing new directions to identify risks or data closer to the cause of incidents/accidents. Since communication represents a critical issue in the interaction of human factor and has been proved to be the answer of the problems made by possible breakdowns in different communication procedures, from this focus point, on the third pylon a new error-modeling instrument suitable for risk assessment/accident analysis will be elaborated.

Paper Detail
497
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93
10008524
Risk and Uncertainty in Aviation: A Thorough Analysis of System Vulnerabilities
Abstract:

Hazard assessment and risks quantification are key components for estimating the impact of existing regulations. But since regulatory compliance cannot cover all risks in aviation, the authors point out that by studying causal factors and eliminating uncertainty, an accurate analysis can be outlined. The research debuts by making delimitations on notions, as confusion on the terms over time has reflected in less rigorous analysis. Throughout this paper, it will be emphasized the fact that the variation in human performance and organizational factors represent the biggest threat from an operational perspective. Therefore, advanced risk assessment methods analyzed by the authors aim to understand vulnerabilities of the system given by a nonlinear behavior. Ultimately, the mathematical modeling of existing hazards and risks by eliminating uncertainty implies establishing an optimal solution (i.e. risk minimization).

Paper Detail
878
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92
10008936
Fragility Analysis of Weir Structure Subjected to Flooding Water Damage
Abstract:

In this study, seepage analysis was performed by the level difference between upstream and downstream of weir structure for safety evaluation of weir structure against flooding. Monte Carlo Simulation method was employed by considering the probability distribution of the adjacent ground parameter, i.e., permeability coefficient of weir structure. Moreover, by using a commercially available finite element program (ABAQUS), modeling of the weir structure is carried out. Based on this model, the characteristic of water seepage during flooding was determined at each water level with consideration of the uncertainty of their corresponding permeability coefficient. Subsequently, fragility function could be constructed based on this response from numerical analysis; this fragility function results could be used to determine the weakness of weir structure subjected to flooding disaster. They can also be used as a reference data that can comprehensively predict the probability of failur,e and the degree of damage of a weir structure.

Paper Detail
485
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91
10008200
Rescue Emergency Drone for Fast Response to Medical Emergencies Due to Traffic Accidents
Abstract:
Traffic accidents are a result of the convergence of hazards, malfunctioning of vehicles and human negligence that have adverse economic and health impacts and effects. Unfortunately, avoiding them completely is very difficult, but with quick response to rescue and first aid, the mortality rate of inflicted persons can be reduced significantly. Smart and innovative technologies can play a pivotal role to respond faster to traffic crash emergencies comparing conventional means of transportation. For instance, Rescue Emergency Drone (RED) can provide faster and real-time crash site risk assessment to emergency medical services, thereby helping them to quickly and accurately assess a situation, dispatch the right equipment and assist bystanders to treat inflicted person properly. To conduct a research in this regard, the case of a traffic roundabout that is prone to frequent traffic accidents on the outskirts of Esbjerg, a town located on western coast of Denmark is hypothetically considered. Along with manual calculations, Emergency Disaster Management Simulation (EDMSIM) has been used to verify the response time of RED from a fire station of the town to the presumed crash site. The results of the study demonstrate the robustness of RED into emergency services to help save lives. 
Paper Detail
1113
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90
10008034
Wind Fragility for Honeycomb Roof Cladding Panels Using Screw Pull-Out Capacity
Abstract:
The failure of roof cladding mostly occurs due to the failing of the connection between claddings and purlins, which is the pull-out of the screw connecting the two parts when the pull-out load, i.e. typhoon, is higher than the resistance of the connection screw. As typhoon disasters in Korea are constantly on the rise, probability risk assessment (PRA) has become a vital tool to evaluate the performance of civil structures. In this study, we attempted to determine the fragility of roof cladding with the screw connection. Experimental study was performed to evaluate the pull-out resistance of screw joints between honeycomb panels and back frames. Subsequently, by means of Monte Carlo Simulation method, probability of failure for these types of roof cladding was determined. The results that the failure of roof cladding was depends on their location on the roof, for example, the edge most panel has the highest probability of failure.
Paper Detail
478
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89
10008420
Risk Assessment for Aerial Package Delivery
Abstract:

Recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have begun to attract intense interest. UAVs started to use for many different applications from military to civilian use. Some online retailer and logistics companies are testing the UAV delivery. UAVs have great potentials to reduce cost and time of deliveries and responding to emergencies in a short time. Despite these great positive sides, just a few works have been done for routing of UAVs for package deliveries. As known, transportation of goods from one place to another may have many hazards on delivery route due to falling hazards that can be exemplified as ground objects or air obstacles. This situation refers to wide-range insurance concept. For this reason, deliveries that are made with drones get into the scope of shipping insurance. On the other hand, air traffic was taken into account in the absence of unmanned aerial vehicle. But now, it has been a reality for aerial fields. In this study, the main goal is to conduct risk analysis of package delivery services using drone, based on delivery routes.

Paper Detail
859
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88
10007480
A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra
Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Paper Detail
554
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87
10007585
Selection of Intensity Measure in Probabilistic Seismic Risk Assessment of a Turkish Railway Bridge
Abstract:

Fragility curve is an effective common used tool to determine the earthquake performance of structural and nonstructural components. Also, it is used to determine the nonlinear behavior of bridges. There are many historical bridges in the Turkish railway network; the earthquake performances of these bridges are needed to be investigated. To derive fragility curve Intensity measures (IMs) and Engineering demand parameters (EDP) are needed to be determined. And the relation between IMs and EDP are needed to be derived. In this study, a typical simply supported steel girder riveted railway bridge is studied. Fragility curves of this bridge are derived by two parameters lognormal distribution. Time history analyses are done for selected 60 real earthquake data to determine the relation between IMs and EDP. Moreover, efficiency, practicality, and sufficiency of three different IMs are discussed. PGA, Sa(0.2s) and Sa(1s), the most common used IMs parameters for fragility curve in the literature, are taken into consideration in terms of efficiency, practicality and sufficiency.

Paper Detail
509
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86
10007058
Seismic Fragility of Weir Structure Considering Aging Degradation of Concrete Material
Abstract:

This study presented the seismic fragility framework of concrete weir structure subjected to strong seismic ground motions and in particular, concrete aging condition of the weir structure was taken into account in this study. In order to understand the influence of concrete aging on the weir structure, by using probabilistic risk assessment, the analytical seismic fragility of the weir structure was derived for pre- and post-deterioration of concrete. The performance of concrete weir structure after five years was assumed for the concrete aging or deterioration, and according to after five years’ condition, the elastic modulus was simply reduced about one–tenth compared with initial condition of weir structures. A 2D nonlinear finite element analysis was performed considering the deterioration of concrete in weir structures using ABAQUS platform, a commercial structural analysis program. Simplified concrete degradation was resulted in the increase of almost 45% of the probability of failure at Limit State 3, in comparison to initial construction stage, by analyzing the seismic fragility.

Paper Detail
553
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85
10007768
Human Health Risk Assessment from Metals Present in a Soil Contaminated by Crude Oil
Abstract:

The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6. 

Paper Detail
544
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84
10006219
Health and Greenhouse Gas Emission Implications of Reducing Meat Intakes in Hong Kong
Abstract:
High meat and especially red meat intakes are significantly and positively associated with a multiple burden of diseases and also high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study investigated population meat intake patterns in Hong Kong. It quantified the burden of disease and GHG emission outcomes by modeling to adjust Hong Kong population meat intakes to recommended healthy levels. It compared age- and sex-specific population meat, fruit and vegetable intakes obtained from a population survey among adults aged 20 years and over in Hong Kong in 2005-2007, against intake recommendations suggested in the Modelling System to Inform the Revision of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE-2011-MS) technical document. This study found that meat and meat alternatives, especially red meat intakes among Hong Kong males aged 20+ years and over are significantly higher than recommended. Red meat intakes among females aged 50-69 years and other meat and alternatives intakes among aged 20-59 years are also higher than recommended. Taking the 2005-07 age- and sex-specific population meat intake as baselines, three counterfactual scenarios of adjusting Hong Kong adult population meat intakes to AGHE-2011-MS and Pre-2011 AGHE recommendations by the year 2030 were established. Consequent energy intake gaps were substituted with additional legume, fruit and vegetable intakes. To quantify the consequent GHG emission outcomes associated with Hong Kong meat intakes, Cradle-to-ready-to-eat lifecycle assessment emission outcome modelling was used. Comparative risk assessment of burden of disease model was used to quantify the health outcomes. This study found adjusting meat intakes to recommended levels could reduce Hong Kong GHG emission by 17%-44% when compared against baseline meat intake emissions, and prevent 2,519 to 7,012 premature deaths in males and 53 to 1,342 in females, as well as multiple burden of diseases when compared to the baseline meat intake scenario. Comparing lump sum meat intake reduction and outcome measures across the entire population, and using emission factors, and relative risks from individual studies in previous co-benefit studies, this study used age- and sex-specific input and output measures, emission factors and relative risks obtained from high quality meta-analysis and meta-review respectively, and has taken government dietary recommendations into account. Hence evaluations in this study are of better quality and more reflective of real life practices. Further to previous co-benefit studies, this study pinpointed age- and sex-specific population and meat-type-specific intervention points and leverages. When compared with similar studies in Australia, this study also showed that intervention points and leverages among populations in different geographic and cultural background could be different, and that globalization also globalizes meat consumption emission effects. More regional and cultural specific evaluations are recommended to promote more sustainable meat consumption and enhance global food security.
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795
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83
10005911
Sensitivity and Reliability Analysis of Masonry Infilled Frames
Abstract:
The seismic performance of buildings with irregular distribution of mass, stiffness and strength along the height may be significantly different from that of regular buildings with masonry infill. Masonry infilled reinforced concrete (RC) frames are very common structural forms used for multi-storey building construction. These structures are found to perform better in past earthquakes owing to additional strength, stiffness and energy dissipation in the infill walls. The seismic performance of a building depends on the variation of material, structural and geometrical properties. The sensitivity of these properties affects the seismic response of the building. The main objective of the sensitivity analysis is to found out the most sensitive parameter that affects the response of the building. This paper presents a sensitivity analysis by considering 5% and 95% probability value of random variable in the infills characteristics, trying to obtain a reasonable range of results representing a wide number of possible situations that can be met in practice by using pushover analysis. The results show that the strength-related variation values of concrete and masonry, with the exception of tensile strength of the concrete, have shown a significant effect on the structural performance and that this effect increases with the progress of damage condition for the concrete. The seismic risk assessments of the selected frames are expressed in terms of reliability index.
Paper Detail
780
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82
10006006
Importance of Risk Assessment in Managers´ Decision-Making Process
Abstract:

Making decisions is the core of management and a result of conscious activities which is under way in a particular environment and concrete conditions. The managers decide about the goals, procedures and about the methods how to respond to the changes and to the problems which developed. Their decisions affect the effectiveness, quality, economy and the overall successfulness in every organisation. In spite of this fact, they do not pay sufficient attention to the individual steps of the decision-making process. They emphasise more how to cope with the individual methods and techniques of making decisions and forget about the way how to cope with analysing the problem or assessing the individual solution variants. In many cases, the underestimating of the analytical phase can lead to an incorrect assessment of the problem and this can then negatively influence its further solution. Based on our analysis of the theoretical solutions by individual authors who are dealing with this area and the realised research in Slovakia and also abroad we can recognise an insufficient interest of the managers to assess the risks in the decision-making process. The goal of this paper is to assess the risks in the managers´ decision-making process relating to the conditions of the environment, to the subject’s activity (the manager’s personality), to the insufficient assessment of individual variants for solving the problems but also to situations when the arisen problem is not solved. The benefit of this paper is the effort to increase the need of the managers to deal with the risks during the decision-making process. It is important for every manager to assess the risks in his/her decision-making process and to make efforts to take such decisions which reflect the basic conditions, states and development of the environment in the best way and especially for the managers´ decisions to contribute to achieving the determined goals of the organisation as effectively as possible.

Paper Detail
894
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81
10005843
Techniques of Construction Management in Civil Engineering
Abstract:

The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.

Paper Detail
776
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80
10005026
Identifying Knowledge Gaps in Incorporating Toxicity of Particulate Matter Constituents for Developing Regulatory Limits on Particulate Matter
Abstract:
Regulatory bodies has proposed limits on Particulate Matter (PM) concentration in air; however, it does not explicitly indicate the incorporation of effects of toxicities of constituents of PM in developing regulatory limits. This study aimed to provide a structured approach to incorporate toxic effects of components in developing regulatory limits on PM. A four-step human health risk assessment framework consists of - (1) hazard identification (parameters: PM and its constituents and their associated toxic effects on health), (2) exposure assessment (parameters: concentrations of PM and constituents, information on size and shape of PM; fate and transport of PM and constituents in respiratory system), (3) dose-response assessment (parameters: reference dose or target toxicity dose of PM and its constituents), and (4) risk estimation (metric: hazard quotient and/or lifetime incremental risk of cancer as applicable). Then parameters required at every step were obtained from literature. Using this information, an attempt has been made to determine limits on PM using component-specific information. An example calculation was conducted for exposures of PM2.5 and its metal constituents from Indian ambient environment to determine limit on PM values. Identified data gaps were: (1) concentrations of PM and its constituents and their relationship with sampling regions, (2) relationship of toxicity of PM with its components.
Paper Detail
789
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