Articles | Volume 6, issue 5
22 Sep 2006
 | 22 Sep 2006

Development of a methodology to assess man-made risks in Germany

D. Borst, D. Jung, S. M. Murshed, and U. Werner

Abstract. Risk is a concept used to describe future potential outcomes of certain actions or events. Within the project "CEDIM – Risk Map Germany – Man-made Hazards" it is intended to develop methods for assessing and mapping the risk due to different human-induced hazards. This is a task that has not been successfully performed for Germany so far. Concepts of catastrophe modelling are employed including the spatial modelling of hazard, the compilation of different kinds of exposed elements, the estimation of their vulnerability and the direct loss potential in terms of human life and health.

The paper is divided in two sections: First, an analytic framework for assessing the broad spectrum of human-induced risks is introduced. This approach is then applied for three important types of human-induced hazards that are representative for a whole class of hazards: Accidents due to nuclear power plants (NPP) or air traffic, and terrorism.

For the analysis of accidents, risk is measured with respect to getting injured or dying when living in certain buffer zones around hazard locations. NPP hazard expert knowledge is used and supplemented with observations on aging effects leading to a proprietary index value for the risk. Air traffic risk is modelled as an area related phenomenon based on available accident statistics leading to an expected value of risk.

Terrorism risk is assessed by the attraction certain elements (like embassies in the case of conventional threats) display in the eye of potential aggressors. For non-conventional targets like football games, a detailed approach measuring their susceptibility to different kinds of attacks within predefined scenarios was developed; this also allows a ranking of attack modes.