Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 13

weaknesses with risk
assessment processes
used in other industries worldwide and by
other federal agencies."
Reliance on current practice without question
and considering this as
best practice has become
endemic. The report
argues that "Challenging
current assumptions on
what constitutes 'best
practice' in our industry
is overdue."
Ever y
i n spec t ion
and evaluation by the
owner, two regulators
and numerous external
consultants either did
not identify the vulnerabilities or eliminated
them from further consideration. The underlying issue was that the
likely failure scenarios in
repeated Potential Failure
Mode Analyses (PFMAs) were being
screened out on the basis of perceived
low probabilities and being treated as
impossible. The IFT report identified
numerous weaknesses in the current
PFMA approach:
* Failure modes may be excluded from
consideration simply due to which
definition of failure is used.
* Failure modes that do not necessary
involve loss of life as a consequence
can be overlooked.
* Attention to appurtenant structures
such as spillways can be eclipsed by
attention to main dams.
* Systems thinking is difficult to
capture through current PFMA
practice due to an emphasis on
extreme events and total loss of
water retention.
* The process requires individuals
to subjectively determine the relevance of the various failure modes.
Combined with an over-reliance
on inherently fallible 'engineering
judgment' at both individual and
group levels, this allows elimination of failure scenarios without
enough factual information being
adequately reviewed.
Canadian Dam Association * Winter 2019

* The process is only as good as the
technical understanding of potential failure modes the team brings
to the process.
* The analyses are reliant on team
dynamics and engineering judgement; nine different human factors
were documented as contributing to
the failure of the PMFAs.
In general, there are basic limitations to the PMFA approach due to
its practicality: PFMAs allow quick
categorization and elimination of failure modes by relying on unstructured

brainstorming with reliance on qualitative engineering judgement, rather than
being a methodical, structured process.
As noted in a FERC Part 12D Refresher
Training module (available online)
"...If you do not fully develop a PFM,
you cannot categorize it." However,
categorization and elimination of failure modes without full development
is the norm.
Rather than placing more reliance
on engineering judgment to estimate
probabilities and consequences in
multi-branched event and fault trees,

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Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019

Board of Directors
President’s Message
Looking Beyond Oroville: Where to From Here?
CDA’s Recent International Business Development Activities
CDA 2018 Conference a Great Success in Quebec City
CDA Conference Hosts Events for Young Professionals
CDA Bestows Two Life Memberships
Honouring the Industry’s Leaders
Election 2018 Report
Financial Report: CDA Breaks Even in 2017-2018 Fiscal Year
ICOLD Corner
CDA 2019 Conference: Call for Papers
Buyers’ Guide and Trade List
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - intro
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - cover1
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - cover2
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 3
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 4
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 5
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 6
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Board of Directors
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - President’s Message
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 9
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Looking Beyond Oroville: Where to From Here?
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 11
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 12
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 13
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 14
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 15
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 16
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 17
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - CDA’s Recent International Business Development Activities
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 19
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - CDA 2018 Conference a Great Success in Quebec City
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 21
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 22
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 23
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - CDA Conference Hosts Events for Young Professionals
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 25
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 26
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - CDA Bestows Two Life Memberships
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Honouring the Industry’s Leaders
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 29
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 30
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 31
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Election 2018 Report
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 33
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Financial Report: CDA Breaks Even in 2017-2018 Fiscal Year
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 35
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 36
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 37
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - ICOLD Corner
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - CDA 2019 Conference: Call for Papers
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 40
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - Buyers’ Guide and Trade List
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - 42
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - cover3
Canadian Dam Association Bulletin - Winter 2019 - cover4
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