Wednesday, October 9
Lianne Lefsrud, Ph.D., P.Eng., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta
Renato Macciotta Pulisci, Ph.D., P.Eng., Industrial Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta
Safety Management Systems, risk assessments and the role of communication and culture for tailings dam failure preventability
Despite continuous advances in tailings science, soil mechanics and monitoring technologies, unplanned events at tailings facilities occur with alarming frequency. Although most of these result in minor to no loss of containment, a number of catastrophic events have occurred this decade.
Analyses of the root causes of these catastrophic events do not point towards current limitations in tailings or monitoring technologies, but to weaknesses in the adequacy, implementation or compliance of the Safety Management System (SMS) in place. In this regard, some momentum now exists for adoption of a Performance-Based, Risk-Informed Safe Design (PBRISD) approach to the construction, operation and closure of tailings facilities which addresses key aspects of the SMS as applied to dams.
This keynote address discusses the implementation of PBRISD and its relationship with a SMS. It focuses on the links between PBRISD steps and the elements of a SMS, and the role of communication and organizational culture for a successful implementation.
About our speakers
Lianne Lefsrud is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta. She researchers hazard identification, risk management and evaluation, and technology adoption in mining, railroading, pipelining, heavy construction, and other industries. Dr. Lefsrud’s holds an interdisciplinary M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and Sociology and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization.
Most recently, she was a Dow Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellow with the Erb Institute, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Dr. Lefsrud also spent several years with APEGA regulating engineering/geoscience. She has also worked for a railroad, an oil and gas company, and environmental consultancies.
Dr. Lefsrud’s research areas include risk management, risk acceptability / tolerability, decision-making for technological developments, computational methods.
Renato Macciotta is an Industrial Professor at the University of Alberta in the Dave and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management. Dr. Macciotta obtained his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering in 2013, specializing in risk engineering aspects of natural and man-made slopes. He then worked as Research Associate at the University of Alberta while simultaneously providing consulting services within Canada and internationally.
Dr. Macciotta’s areas of practice and research include risk engineering and safety assessments for natural and human-made slopes, mining structures, transport operations, dam structures and operations, ground hazards, and reclamation. His expertise also includes the geomechanical characterization of rock and soil masses, slope failure mechanisms and monitoring, rock fall detachment and trajectory analysis, and remote monitoring techniques. His work integrates his technical skills with risk engineering principles for the design and operation of engineered systems and structures.
**Presentation in English with simultaneous interpretation available