Keywords: risk assessment, risk management, safety, security risks, hazardous materials, transportation, highways, road transport, terrorism scenarios, critical infrastructures, terrorist attacks, accidents, natural disasters
An evolving paradigm for managing hazardous materials transportation risk
The advent of terrorist activity has taught us that managing hazardous materials transportation risk must be performed with a different lens to accommodate terrorism scenarios that may not have previously warranted such formal attention. Given these circumstances, a new paradigm must emerge for managing the risks associated with transport of Hazardous Materials (HM), one that explicitly considers the likelihood and consequences of terrorist attacks, while preserving consideration of risks posed by accidents and natural hazards. This article presents a review of traditional risk assessment methods and practices as applied to the transport of HM, introduces the challenge of assessing security risks, and describes a methodology for constructing a systematic, integrated risk assessment process for addressing natural and man-made disasters, be they accidental or planned. The methodology is subsequently applied to various classes of HM transported by highway, both to illustrate the methodology as well as to interpret the results. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings and implications associated with this effort.