Volume 16, Issue 6 (1-2020)                   ioh 2020, 16(6): 1-15 | Back to browse issues page

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Pouyakian M, Khatabakhsh A, Jafari M J. The analysis of hazard identification and risk assessment studies with the approach to assessing risk control measures since 2001 to 2017: A systemic review. ioh. 2020; 16 (6) :1-15
URL: http://ioh.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2462-en.html
Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , khatabakhsh2012@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1297 Views)
background and aims: Nowadays the growing complexity of technology and industry has led to vast changes over the last few decades. These changes, in addition to their positive and valuable effects, have also caused industrial accidents affecting human life and the environment. According to the ILO 2011 report, there are 340 million annual workplace accidents and 160 million occupational illnesses worldwide, resulting in more than 6,000 deaths worldwide each day. Iran is no exception, as the statistics of the Social Security Organization show that there are 14114 annual accidents and 268 deaths in the workplaces covered by this organization. Different approaches have been developed to identify hazards, evaluate and control risks in the overall risk management framework to address these problems.
A critical point that seems to be overlooked in most hazard identification and risk assessment processes is the critical process of risk control and failure to provide a clear benchmark for evaluating risk control measures. However, the ultimate goal of the hazard identification and risk assessment processes is to eliminate or reduce the risk level through control strategies. Risk control is trying to improve the likelihood of an accident, its consequences, exposure, and detection rate.
In most studies, the last column of the risk analysis worksheet offers several risk control strategies that claim to reduce the risk level to an acceptable level. But in very few studies, control measures such as risks have been evaluated or prioritized. One of the critical challenges of studies due to the budget constraints allocated to the process of risk management in industries and organizations is the failure to evaluate control strategies and thus the selection and implementation of inappropriate strategies and their adverse consequences.
Various studies have been conducted to identify hazards and assess risks. But it seems no study have been systematically reviewed them. Therefore, the present study aims to do a systemic review on articles with approaches of hazard identification, risk assessment, and control, to produce valuable information for researchers, identify gaps with special attention to assessing risk control measures and propose new fields for studies.
Methods: In this review study, we systematically searched for published Persian-language articles in Iranian peer-reviewed journals to analyze hazard identification and risk assessment studies in Iran with a particular approach to evaluating risk control measures. The search was conducted using the keywords, risk assessment, risk control, risk management, hazard assessment, and safety evaluation. All the keywords were combined with the word "job" and the search was done in the title, abstract and keywords of the Scientific Information Database (SID) and the Magiran database.
In this study, only the studies that were conducted in Iran, in Farsi language during 2001 to the last 3 months of 2017, were searched. The number of articles found in the SID and the Magiran databases using the keywords was 24 and 534, respectively. For the review, only articles were allowed to enter the study in which they were done in an organization to identify hazards, assess and control risks or a new approach to hazard identification, risk assessment, or the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of risk control measures have been proposed. Another criterion for including the articles in the present study was their publication in peer-reviewed journals. Articles of conferences, seminars, review of books, writerschr('39') notes, last word, and theses were not considered.
To extract information, in addition to reviewing the title, abstract, and results, the full text of the articles were used, where the required information was not obtained from the above sections. Information extracted from the articles were articles title, year of publication, journal title, industry, region, hazard identification method, risk assessment method, risk control measures and basis for their selection and evaluation.
Results: Most of the studies, which account for 78% of the articles under review, have been conducted in an industry. This volume of industry studies can indicate the occurrence of multiple accidents, high mortality and injury rates, and imposing heavy economic costs on this sector due to lack of risk control. The refinery and power plants also account for over 21% of studies. The reasons for this are the high complexity and severity of the consequences of accidents occurring in them. On the other hand, more than 12% of studies have been done in hospital and laboratory wards, which are insufficient and need more attention. 9.4% of studies have been done in other industries such as mining.
A total of 12 hazard identification methods were identified in this study. Among the identified methods, the Job Safety Analysis (JSA) method has been used to identify hazards in more than 28% of articles due to its general approach. After the JSA, the Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) method and the review of the documentation and opinions of the experts make up the bulk of the studies.
A total of 18 risk assessment methods were identified in this study. About 31% had a risk assessment using the Risk Priority Number (RPN) method. Perhaps its cause can be traced back to the hazard identification methods. Most of the papers used the FMEA method or its combination with other methods to identify hazards. The RPN method is commonly used to assess risks for the hazards identified with FMEA, although other related methods can also be used. The second most commonly used risk assessment method was the MIL-STD-882E standard, which was used by more than 12% of articles. After these two methods, the William Fain method with 6.3% is the largest volume of studies. Other methods have only been used in one study because they are in the development phase.
In the risk control measures section, 75% of the articles reviewed, provided risk control strategies and only 25% refused to provide risk control measures.
Conclusions: In hazard identification methods, the results of the study indicated that experts should first thoroughly examine hazard identification methods scope and limitations before using them. Therefore, due to the increasing complexity of industries, it is suggested to employ systematic approaches in complex socio-technical systems.

Most studies have used common risk assessment methods based on verbal expressions. Therefore, to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity in this process, it is recommended to develop existing risk assessment methods based on fuzzy logic. One of the strengths of the studies under review is their tendency to develop new risk assessment methods, but these approaches have been considered in very limited studies. Therefore, further studies are recommended to determine the accuracy and scope of their application.
In the discussion of risk control measures, less than 19% of the reviewed articles evaluated or categorized control strategies according to a specific criterion. In most studies, control measures have been evaluated based on implementation cost or effectiveness factors. In this review, several studies have used the William Fine method to assess risk, but none have used the cost justification factor. Perhaps one of the reasons for not using the cost justification factor is the obsolete cost factor scales. Therefore, due to the limited financial resources of organizations to control risks, it is suggested that the William Fine cost factor table be revised and adjusted to the current situation.
Of the studies reviewed, only one study examined control strategies based on several criteria. It evaluated and prioritized risk control measures based on criteria of utilization, budget, time, personnel satisfaction, facilities and manpower using a 0-5 score range.
The point that is observed in the reviewed articles is that the control measures are not evaluated on the basis of a theoretical approach based on risk control patterns such as the triangle risk control model (Elimination, Substitution, Isolation, Engineering controls, Management controls and use of personal protective equipment), the Haddon matrix, and so on. Therefore, it can be concluded that the risk management process is incomplete. Also, in all the studies under review, it is not considered that the criteria used in evaluating control measures are not of equal value and importance. Therefore, it is recommended to provide a structured and theoretically supported approach based on risk control patterns and other parameters influencing control measures. Also, to more accurately and clearly evaluate control strategies, it is recommended to use multi-criteria decision-making methods and specific spectroscopy of effective parameters in evaluating control strategies in method construction. Finally, it is suggested that due to the verbal and qualitative nature of the judgments to control the uncertainties and ambiguities in the verbal expressions, an evaluation method based on fuzzy logic be developed.
Full-Text [PDF 522 kb]   (295 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Review Article | Subject: Assessment and risk management
Received: 2018/06/12 | Accepted: 2018/11/26 | Published: 2020/04/20

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