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Briefing sheet

Success by risk management: A risk glossary in the context of civil engineering projects

Date
04 February 2020

Civil engineering at its very heart is all about preventing failure. Good practice calls for civil engineers to approach all key decisions and designs from the perspective of risk.

Success by risk management: A risk glossary in the context of civil engineering projects
Language to prevent and reduce risks

Civil engineers primarily manage health and safety related risks, which is required by the CDM (construction, design and management) Regulations 2015. However, risk management in a broader sense is such an essential practice that it is universally applicable and deeply embedded into every single industry and business and everyone’s life. Bringing an infrastructure project from paper into reality requires civil engineers to collaborate with numerous other practices such as architecture, finance, law, etc. Each of these practices invariably manages risk from its own perspective, but there needs to be a shared understanding of the meaning of the differing words used to describe risk. Even within the civil engineering profession, individuals may sometimes attach different meanings to the same words.

As such, the purpose of this document is two-fold: 1) to introduce civil engineers to different definitions associated with risk management that other professionals may use. Civil engineers need to be in possession of some basic understandings of these definitions in order to achieve effective collaboration with others. 2) to try and create a ‘common language’ for all professions that collaborate on infrastructure projects, in order to reduce ‘communication friction’. This document is the product of a great deal of thought jointly by civil engineers and actuaries, and is consistent with the RAMP Handbook. [Note: The RAMP Handbook, 3rd edition, has been prepared by the Risk Group of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and is a comprehensive guide to risk management for projects].

Success by risk management: A risk glossary in the context of civil engineering projects

Content type: Briefing sheet

Last updated: 26/04/2022

Author: ICE

  • Si Shen, team leader (tunnelling and geotechnics) at TYPSA
  • Charles Jensen, knowledge content producer at ICE