Forensic and Cost/Benefit Economics
BEAR provides full economic assessments (damages and losses) for cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, business losses, unfair competition, property damage and crop losses. Specialty areas include the oil & gas industry, agriculture, construction and manufacturing.
In evaluating complex systems, BEAR also preforms cost/benefit analysis to assist in determining what safety devices and systems should be installed and at what cost, that lower risk to a level that is “reasonably practicable.” This type of analysis is often referred to as ALARP, or As Low As Reasonably Practicable based on a 1949 ruling by Lord Justice Asquith in England.
A risk can only be considered ALARP when it can be demonstrated that the effort (time, trouble and/or cost) in reducing the risk further is grossly disproportionate to the benefit (risk reduction) gained. BEAR has applied this risk methodology to large and small industrial processes:
Powerline contact by Cranes and Lifts
Every month a crane or lift is inadvertently driven or moved into a power line causing severe injuries and fatalities. Power line detection devices costing more than $5,000 have been available for decades and have rarely been used. Redesigning these devices with modern electronics results in a cost of less than $100. An ALARP assessment would clearly indicate these devices should be standard equipment.
Crane hits powerline
BEAR develops detector
Deepwater Horizon Well Blowout and Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
In this case BEAR economics and engineering personnel used ALARP to determine reasonably cost effective modifications that would have routed the blowout overboard, and allowed a safe shutdown of the well in a matter of minutes.
The principals of ALARP can be applied to the prevention of gas pipeline explosions such as the San Bruno, California accident that led to the destruction of an entire neighborhood, 8 fatalities and over 50 injuries. The damages of this accident have been estimated to be approximately $5Billion. This accident would have been prevented if proper risk assessment had been performed and costs for improved safety evaluated using ALARP
Consumer Gasoline and Alcohol Container Explosions
Consumer gasoline and alcohol containers will explode under certain conditions and regularly cause severe injuries and fatalities. A simple flame arrestor, costing pennies, would prevent these accidents.