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You cant put a price on saving lives

Consider the devastating effects an explosion can cause – production stopped, serious injuries to people and the environment, lives lost.

David Ho Principal Consultant

by David Ho

Principal Consultant, Sydney

16 August 2017
offshore drilling platform explosion

Throughout history nature has tested human’s will of survival through many natural disasters that have shocked cities and countries with their waves of destruction, claiming thousands of lives. However since the industrial revolution there have been a number of disastrous incidents occur as our best safety measures fail because of negligence or technical default.

Low probability but high consequence events, such as an explosion at a refinery or terrorist attack, can have substantial adverse effect to an organisation; facilities can be shut down for weeks or even months, and both the loss of production and reputational damage caused can result in billions of dollars lost. What’s more, the devastating effects these events have on people’s lives and the environment cannot be underestimated.

To secure the safety of an organisation’s most valuable asset – its people – the nature and effect of a blast event must be fully understood before it occurs in order to minimise its effect. The better our understanding of how a blast event progresses and impacts facilities, the better we can design safety into the system to prevent casualties in these scenarios.

The Advisian Click-on Blast Tool™ was developed to do just that. It quickly and easily quantifies blast pressures applied to structures and accounts for their vulnerabilities. The tool allows you to click-and-drag facilities or process units into new locational positions, and then rapidly reassesses the effects various blast scenarios would have. Through this, the tool helps you design or modify a facility or building to be safer and reduce risk to people’s lives.

The Click-on Blast Tool™ has been used to assess the impact of ground-based blasts on a number of government buildings around the world. Each analysis created simulations where the buildings were subjected to Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) blasts of various charge weights at different locations. The building’s structural vulnerabilities to these threats were identified and subsequently addressed to limit the danger to people’s lives.

In addition to this, blast scenarios have also been simulated for a number of industrial facilities whereby the effect of an explosion on several nearby buildings was assessed. The vulnerabilities of building structures and people were determined, allowing plant operators to prioritise upgrade works and modify building usage to minimise personnel exposure.

With safety as a key concern in high-risk industries, as well as governments, the Click-on Blast Tool™ compares the effectiveness of different measures to reduce overall risk, quickly evaluate the position of different facilities and assess the condition of occupied buildings if an explosion was to occur.

Developed in close consultation with practitioners, the tool is designed to be easy to use and rapid enough to be utilised in a workshop environment. It can be applied to chemical plants, nuclear facilities and other industrial, government and community facilities where blast, toxic gas or thermal radiation events could potentially occur.

Accidents happen. Mistakes can be made. Sometimes catastrophic events occur that are outside of our control. However, protecting human life and the environment from the consequences of these events is something that can’t be left to chance.


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David Ho Principal Consultant

David Ho

Principal Consultant

David has over 25 years’ experience in the analysis and design of civil, structural and geotechnical engineering systems using various numerical analysis and modelling techniques. He has pioneered the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of dam spillways in Australia, evaluating their hydraulic performance for different flow and flood conditions. Since then, other hydraulic structures such as pumping stations and fishways have been analyzed.