Stakeholders in Engineering Require Good Risk Management to Achieve Mutual Objectives, Says Expert
A risk management expert, Engr. Jacob Adeosun, has advised Risk Management engineers to be first and foremost competent, certified and experienced in certain core engineering fields for effective application of the risk engineering principles to evolve risk solutions that would fulfil the core objectives of the stakeholders.
He gave this advice at the recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Covenant, where he made a presentation on the topic, ‘Risk Management in the Engineering Practice’. According to him, Risk Management provides unlimited opportunities for fulfilling and beneficial career in various roles throughout the economy of any nation anywhere in the world, with Risk Engineering being a key area.
The Guest Speaker, who is the Executive Director, Industrial Risks Protection Consultants Limited, defined Risk Management as the process employed to methodically address upside and downside risks with the goal of achieving sustained benefits from the portfolio of all activities being undertaken. He explained that Risk Engineering was the methodical application of risk management principles to the design and implementation of effective risk solutions for all endeavours to achieve set objectives.
The need for Risk Management, he stated, was compelled by recurrent catastrophic failure of entities (e.g. corporations, projects) across the globe, which had inflicted untold hardship on stakeholders internationally, adding that this had been attributed to weak corporate governance and non-adherence to risk management principles.
Engr. Adeosun highlighted some risk exposures said to be associated with all phases of the lifespan of engineering risks as Fire (Projects, Maintenance and Operations), Explosion (Projects, Maintenance and Operations), Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosions, Tank Boil Over, Transport/Logistics Risk, Load Lifting Accident, Radioactive Substances, Earthquake or Earth tremors, Weather or Climate Change, Sabotage/Arson amongst many others.
He identified risk control measures as Physical Risk Control, which encompassed HSE, Fire Detection and Suppression Appliances, Warning Evacuation Protection for Hurricane Tsunami and Earthquake, CCTV, Project Evaluation and Monitoring, Management Controls. Also listed were Risk Transfer (Insurance) and Financial and Investment Protection.
Some examples of engineering assets, according to the Guest Speaker, were Drilling and Work Over Projects/Operations, Crude Oil and Gas Gathering, Process and Storage Facilities, Gas Lift, Gas Injection, Water Injection, Gas Recycling Plants, Power Plants, Refineries and Petrochemicals, Liquified Natural Gas Plants, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plants, and Breweries and Beverage Plants.
Stating the primary role of risk management, he said it was to help the stakeholders (investors, shareholders, governments, regulators, communities, employees, customers etc.) understand, appreciate and recognise the actual features of the risks for proper and appropriate solutions, decisions and actions.
“Risk management via risk engineering is required for the identification of potential and real challenges that could result in failure as well as to fish out hidden opportunities that could improve the success of the venture. Innovative solutions are evolved and appropriate actions are taken to avoid or mitigate failures,” said Engr. Adeosun
He admonished the audience that any project or asset or resource that was not “risk–based planned’ and “intrinsically risk-managed” all the time was doomed to fail at any point of the life cycle, and the scope and impact of the failure could be devastating and catastrophic for all stakeholders.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Augustine Ayeni, said that the engineering practice was increasingly becoming more complex because the various engineering disciplines were now more interwoven. He noted that since Chemical Engineers participated in many parts of industrial design and operations, it was important to understand associated dangers in such ventures.
Risk control measures, he said, were needed to eliminate or reduce losses from industrial processes, with the lecture situated to enlighten the budding engineers on how adverse events in industrial operations may be reduced or completely eliminated.
Also at the seminar were Professors, faculty and staff of the Chemical Engineering Department.