Inspectioneering Journal

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) Impact of Inspection

Past, Present and Future

By Greg Alvarado, Chief Editor at Inspectioneering. This article appears in the May/June 2003 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


There are many aspects to successful, effective and efficient implementation of RBI1, such as;

  • Data collection
  • Operations data
  • Mechanical data
  • The role of inspection histories and inspection planning
  • How much data do I really need to perform a study
  • Data sensitivity
  • Use of assumptions
  • Training
  • Procedures
  • Documentation
  • The RBI team
  • RBI technology basis
  • RBI codes and standards

This article will focus on, “the role of inspection histories and inspection planning”.

Risk Based Inspection - The Fundamentals

RBI analysis employs the combined consideration of consequence of failure and likelihood of failure to produce a risk value or ranking. For risk based inspection, “failure” is defined as a loss of containment, from a pinhole leak to a catastrophic, instantaneous failure. The goal for implementing RBI is to optimize the focus of limited resources, while offering the simultaneous opportunity for lowering risk. Experience has proven that Pareto principles are applicable to processing equipment, i.e. 10% to 20% of plant equipment contribute 80% to 90% of unit/plant risks.


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