Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Vulnerability Scenario Characterization in an Industrial Context using a Natech Indicator and a Territorial Multi-Risk Approach

David Javier Castro Rodriguez1,a, Micaela Demichela1,b, Simone Beltramino2,d, Mattia Scalas2,e, Grazia Brunetta2,f and Antonello A. Barresi1,c

1Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

2Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) Politecnico di Torino, Italy.


A growing number of natural hazards triggering technological accidents (Natech) has been duly reported from all around the world. However, the multi-hazard and multi-stakeholder character governance of Natech risk is challenging, it requires a comprehensive territorial approach to elucidate the possible simultaneous scenarios and to address the protection of industrial installations and their possible safety-relevant interactions with neighboring critical infrastructures, environment, and communities. Consequently, the goal was to establish a protocol for the vulnerability characterization between the mutual interdependencies of the industrial and the surrounding multi-risk contexts where the industry is located. A previously validated Natech Indicator was implemented as an early warning system, while a multi-risk tool previously validated, was used for the territorial vulnerability characterization in case of an alert. Spatial analyses using the Geographical Information System (GIS) were developed from multiple indicators nested in a systemic vulnerability index, represented on a homogeneous grid. Risk scenarios were generated for the industrial context of interest highlighting the vulnerability to suffering disruptions from natural hazards and pressures. The results showed that industrial infrastructures might represent a double territory threat, one regarding their technical characteristics and hazardousness, and the other when their technological items collide with natural hazards and territorial stressors and provoke cascading events. In addition, the results increase the awareness of the industrial operators and the planners regarding a set of vulnerabilities only rarely analysed holistically. Consequently, this approach may contribute to enhancing the preparedness of risk governance and risk reduction, of both industries and territories. Further research is required to implement this approach in different industrial contexts addressing the time course of natural disruptions, within a framework to increase resilience.

Keywords: GIS, Natech, Natural hazards, Multi-risk, Vulnerability.

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