The Importance of Generic Failure Frequencies in RBI Technology

By Greg Alvarado, Chief Editor at Inspectioneering. April 21, 2014

A paper was presented at the 68th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association entitled Updated Failure Rates and Risk Management in the Process Industries. It was presented in October 2013 by INAIL, an Italian insurance association. The presentation included a thorough analysis of generic failure frequencies used in various American, European, and other sources dating back to 1970. Some of the important points that I took away from the were:

  • The importance of good generic failure frequencies as a basis for risk analysis.
  • The challenges in finding and creating credible/applicable sources and in creating credible, normalized, and validated compendiums.

The generic failure frequencies found in the Second Edition of API RP 580 (October 2008) were considered and compared with the FRED (UK HSE), Purple Book (Netherlands TNO), AMINAL (Belgium), and other American and Italian studies. It was interesting to hear the following quote: "At the end, API and HSE values, as quite conservative, are basically confirmed by experimental Italian data, whilst other data are too 'optimistic' and inadequate for application by Italian authorities."

You may acquire a copy of Updated Failure Rates and Risk Management in the Process Industries by visiting Or, if you need any help finding the paper, feel free to send us an inquiry at

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