Learning from engineering failures

Identify and describe in detail one engineering failure that occurred prior to the year 1900 for Large and localised (eg Granville train accident 1977).

Large – Catastrophic failure, with extensive loss of life, and severe irreparable property damage.
Localised – this type of failure will only have an impact on the immediate area where the incident occurs.

Whatever failure you choose, it must be an engineering failure for which you can readily obtain information. You are required to provide:

1- General Introduction.

2- A brief background to the failure and why you believe your example qualifies as an engineering failure (as distinct from a non-engineering failure).

3- Define the inherent risk.

4- Conduct a risk assessment to quantitatively verify the magnitude of the risk exposure in terms of deaths/injuries/damages/costs using a recognised method such as: Causal Diagram and FMEA.

Describe in detail the causal chain (ie show causality from the root cause(s) to the failure event) and FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) and provide a causal diagram and FMEA (as an Appendix).

5- Would the pre-failure mitigation have passed the HSE Tolerability of Risk (ToR) test (ie you need to demonstrate the consequences of the failure in terms of deaths/injuries/damages/costs to confirm whether they were/weren’t 10x or greater than the sacrifice/investment entailed with the implementation of any pre-accident countermeasures).

6- Lessons were learnt from this failure.

7- Conclusion and recommendations.

8- Reference list: At least two of the references should be from Journal article.


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