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Resilience engineering: withstand, respond and adapt to disruption

About resilience engineering

Resilience Engineering represents a new way of thinking about safety and enables organisations to prepare better for uncertainty in a rapidly changing future. It's a key aspect in operating critical infrastructure and supply chains and in maintaining safe, successful ongoing operations in high-risk sectors.

Whereas conventional risk management approaches rely on hindsight and emphasising cause and effect to calculate failure probability, resilience engineering looks for ways to enhance ability at all levels of the organisation, through making the necessary adaptations needed to cope in real world complexity.

Resilience engineering offers a framework for:

  1. Understaning the socio-technical make up of engineered systems
  2. Minimising harm and sustaining performance in rapidly changing world
  3. Being fully prepared for disruptions and knowing how to respond
  4. Joining this all up with proven risk management and human approaches

From energy and transportation to food manufacture and healthcare, complex systems can remain viable by establishing resilient qualities to withstand, respond and adapt to disruptive events. You take charge of the future.

The challenges

Potential disruption is ever present in complex, connected sectors and impacts are wide ranging:

The environment

Natural and built environments, including industrial assets, infrastructure and systems are all interconnected. The failure of one can have an impact on another. Resilience engineering plays two critical roles:

  • Limiting the negative effect industry has on personnel, surrounding communities and the natural environment which could otherwise be catastrophic
  • Helping operations to recover and continue running

Being resilient to disruptive environmental events is challenging, but possible, with a sound risk culture and mitigation measures.

Global supply chains

Many organisations rely on suppliers for raw materials components of services. Disruption to a supply chain can damage competitiveness and stability. A link can be broken by all kinds of events, from prolonged severe weather or natural disaster to poor supplier quality or industrial disruption. Building resilience into supply chains is a positive investment given the financial regulatory and reputational costs of disruption.

Technology

Cyber-attack from criminals, individuals and even nation states is increasing. Cyber-attacks are non-discriminatory, targeting a broad spectrum of industries and companies, irrespective of scale and geographic location. Like the opportunities the risks grow greater with the Internet of Things (IoT), entire operations and organisations are networked and interconnected. Cyber security can enable operations with a fit-for- purpose bespoke approach.

 

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