Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Maximum risk reduction with a fixed budget in the railway industry
Author: Weli, Eberechi
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Decision-makers in safety-critical industries such as the railways are frequently faced with the complexity of selecting technological, procedural and operational solutions to minimise staff, passengers and third parties’ safety risks. In reality, the options for maximising risk reduction are limited by time and budget constraints as well as performance objectives. Maximising risk reduction is particularly necessary in the times of economic recession where critical services such as those on the UK rail network are not immune to budget cuts. This dilemma is further complicated by statutory frameworks stipulating ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessments and constraints such as ‘as low as reasonably practicable’. These significantly influence risk reduction option selection and influence their effective implementation. This thesis provides extensive research in this area and highlights the limitations of widely applied practices. These practices have limited significance on fundamental engineering principles and become impracticable when a constraint such as a fixed budget is applied – this is the current reality of UK rail network operations and risk management. This thesis identifies three main areas of weaknesses to achieving the desired objectives with current risk reduction methods as:  Inaccurate, and unclear problem definition;  Option evaluation and selection removed from implementation subsequently resulting in misrepresentation of risks and costs;  Use of concepts and methods that are not based on fundamental engineering principles, not verifiable and with resultant sub-optimal solutions. Although not solely intended for a single industrial sector, this thesis focuses on guiding the railway risk decision-maker by providing clear categorisation of measures used on railways for risk reduction. This thesis establishes a novel understanding of risk reduction measures’ application limitations and respective strengths. This is achieved by applying ‘key generic engineering principles’ to measures employed for risk reduction. A comprehensive study of their preventive and protective capability in different configurations is presented. Subsequently, the fundamental understanding of risk reduction measures and their railway applications, the ‘cost-of-failure’ (CoF), ‘risk reduction readiness’ (RRR), ‘design-operationalprocedural-technical’ (DOPT) concepts are developed for rational and cost-effective risk reduction. These concepts are shown to be particularly relevant to cases where blind applications of economic and mathematical theories are misleading and detrimental to engineering risk management. The case for successfully implementing this framework for maximum risk reduction within a fixed budget is further strengthened by applying, for the first time in railway risk reduction applications, the dynamic programming technique based on practical railway examples.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available