Engineers Australia

Sources of Geotechnical Risk

Fred Baynes

The geotechnical risks that can impact upon projects result from a range of hazards associated with geological conditions and geological processes, but also from hazards associated with the geo-engineering process. For example, active faults identified during pre-feasibility studies will pose one type of hazard, whereas a management decision to limit the extent of a site investigation to save money will pose another type of hazard. A systematic assessment of the nature and the source of the various hazards that can affect projects may be used to differentiate the types of geotechnical risk. Examples of these different geotechnical risks from major civil, mining and oil and gas projects will be described and some statistics will be presented to indicate the current rates of occurrence of the different types of risks. Established approaches to managing geotechnical risks on projects will be briefly reviewed.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.