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Preventing Engineering Failures



This is a comprehensive training course ideal for those who play a role in preventing engineering failures.

The problem with engineering failures is they keep happening. There’s little new about them; most have happened before and their reasons are well understood. The difficulty for integrity engineers and failure investigators is they arrive late to the party. By the time you’re involved, you’re picking up other peoples’ work. Mistakes have already been made in design, purchasing, operation and inspection, leaving you the legacy to sort out. Despite doing your best, failures happen, caused by historical reasons and decisions.

It would be nice to kill off failure-inducing rationale and decisions before they caused the problem — you’d reduce those annoying failures that continue to happen. You’d need rules to work to, and foresight to broaden your viewpoint of where engineering failures are born.

There’s a lot to consider:

Economics                                         Factory tests

Attitude                                              Design for inspection

Ethics                                                  Material choices

Culture                                                Benchmarking

Design life                                          Operator-proofing

Purchasing                                         Equipment ageing

Multiple events                                 Human interactions



This course is ideal for anyone with a role in preventing engineering failures.

You have a role in preventing engineering failures if you are a:

  • Asset Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Designer/Manufacturer
  • QA/QC Engineer
  • Integrity Engineer
  • Inspection Engineer
  • Failure Investigator

All these roles involve human actions that can contribute to chains of events resulting in a technical failure, accident or disaster. There are messages for prevention in each one.



The course schedule can be tailored to suit the delegates present but is based on the following structure:


Course Modules

Day 1 of 3
  • How and why things fail
  • Multiple cause and events
  • Material choice/ design life/purchasing
  • Construction
  • Site handover/FATs
  • Validating IOWs
  • Turnarounds/changes of ownership
  • Life extension
  • Economics of prevention
  • Attitude and targets
  • Organisation ethics and culture
  • Organisational barriers
  • Marginal gains principle
  • Avoiding complacency
  • Response to near misses
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Case study on marginal gains targets and implementation for preventing failures
  • Failure cures and treatment
  • Getting the treatment done