This case study outlines a risk assessment and the development of treatment options for enhancing the reliability of an opening bridge on a commuter road. The bridge crosses the entrance to a tidal lake. It is a bascule bridge with spans that open vertically to allow commercial and recreational vessels to pass.
The bridge is many decades old, and the volume of traffic it services has grown since it was constructed. There had been some high-profile failures, resulting in major interruptions in the flow of commuter traffic, disruption to marine activities, widespread media attention and political embarrassment.
Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) was used to augment aspects of the risk assessment. The case discusses the importance of site familiarisation, setting workshop agendas carefully, adapting the risk management process to enhance its effectiveness, using a flexible approach to setting priorities for management attention, and the value of templates for efficiency, effectiveness and due diligence.
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