Chains of accidents, in literature generally referred to as domino effects, knock-on effects, cascade effects or escalation effects occur very infrequently but with disastrous consequences. There exist very few software packages to study such domino accidents in complex industrial areas and to forecast potential catastrophes caused by secondary order (involving a sequence of three installations submitted to two consecutive accidents), tertiary order or even higher order accidents. Moreover, available domino software focuses on risk assessment and on consequence assessment. None of these toolkits specifically addresses the prioritization of installation sequences in an industrial area in order to facilitate objective prevention decisions about domino effects. This paper describes the application of a new computer-automated tool designed to support decision-making on preventive and protective measures to alleviate domino effects in a complex surrounding of chemical installations. Using a holistic approach and thus looking at the entire industrial area as a whole, all sequences of three installations in the area are ranked according to their danger contribution to domino effects. An example of a cluster of chemical plants demonstrates the level of qualitative and quantitative input data required. The example is also used to explain the toolkit results, as well as the surplus value and the benefits for company safety managers and regulators.
- Domino effects
- Escalation accidents
- Knock-on effects
- Major risk decision support tools
- Major risk software