The precautionary approach required by the model WHS act forbids, on pain of criminal imprisonment, the exclusive use of target levels of risk (tolerable or acceptable) as a method of establishing whether a situation or circumstance is safe.
Amongst other concerns, this is problematic for those involved in SIL allocation under IEC 61508. The usual comment is; how else can it be done? Actually, it’s quite straight forward.
As due diligence engineers we often get asked what is engineering due diligence and what it is that we actually do at R2A. To be honest, this has been a really difficult question to answer. Due diligence is a legal concept and often construed to only mean compliance in the engineering context which is not the case. Previously Richard has used throw away lines like ‘we align the laws of nature with the laws of man’ that is, ‘we make lawyers useful’. Although these are outcomes of what we do, they didn’t quite answer the question of ‘what engineering due diligence actually is’.
Arising from a recent expert witness commission, the legal counsel directed R2A’s attention to Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles [2001} NSWCA 305 (14 September 2001), which provides an excellent review of the role and responsibility of an expert witness, at least in NSW.
As risk and due diligence engineers, R2A has the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects. Interestingly we are currently undertaking two operations due diligence reviews for two very different applications. The first is a review for the power supply at the Monash Medical Centre and the second is the supply of Class A recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant.
Richard attended and presented at the recent Construction Risk Management Summit in Melbourne on 1stand 2nd April. It had a diverse range of speakers and messages.
Possibly the most common message from academic speakers was that the majority of projects do not come in on time or budget. In fact very many had major cost blowouts approaching 100%. There were a number of perceived reasons why this occurs.
Richard Robinson has been invited by Professor Tom Romberg to give a keynote address to the Engineers Australia Southern Highlands & Tablelands Regional Group for the Sydney Division Regional Convention 17-19 October 2014 in Bowral on the theme "Sustainability Risk Management".
Sustainability Risk Management focuses on environmental and social responsibility risks. US Professor Dan R Anderson observes that traditionally the costs associated with sustainability risk were externalised to the environment and general society. But increasingly they are being internalised to business.
Apto PPE is a new entrant into the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) wear marketplace. We produce fit for purpose women’s work wear that is safe, comfortable and stylish. Our workwear range can be worn from the boardroom to site with confidence.
We produce fit for purpose PPE clothing for women only, including a maternity range. Clothing that is purpose designed for safety, comfort and practicality, to wear on the job in industries including construction, engineering, factory work and mining.
In February 2014, we hosted an event to launch the 2014 Update of the R2A text, which was well received.
With many changes to various legislation in Australia, R2A has concluded that the text will be updated annually at least.
Matters of interest in the 9th edition text update include:
One of the interesting points to come out of the recent R2A event and discussions with colleagues afterwards, is the confusion regarding the meaning of the word ‘risk’. There was a general perception that much of the SFAIRP – ALARP debate was confusion of terms rather than concepts, a proposition with which we at R2A concur. This also flowed onto a general observation about the way in which courts interpret various terms, especially the meaning of ‘likely’.