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Abstract

In the risk assessment parlance, especially with reference to chemical process industries, the term “domino effect” is used to denote “chain of accidents,” or situations when a fire/explosion/missile/toxic load generated by an accident in one unit in an industry causes secondary and higher order accidents in other units. The multi-accident catastrophe which occurred in a refinery at Vishakhapatnam, India, on September 14, 1997, claiming 60 lives and causing damages to property worth over Rs 600 million, is the most recent example of the damage potential of domino effect.

But, even as the domino effect has been documented since 1947, very little attention has been paid towards modeling this phenomena. In this paper we have provided a conceptual framework based on sets of appropriate models to forecast domino effects, and assess their likely magnitudes and adverse impacts, while conducting risk assessment in a chemical process industry. The utilizability of the framework has been illustrated with a case study.