Technogenic risks: types, analysis, consequences

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Technogenic risks: types, analysis, consequences
Technogenic risks: types, analysis, consequences

In recent decades, from television programs, news and the press, we have been learning more and more about more frequent disasters: car accidents, railway crashes, fires and malfunctions of aircraft (helicopters), as well as ships. Doesn't this mean that life in the world is becoming more and more difficult, and progress is being replaced by regression? As we move forward with progress, are we facing increasing risk? Is it surmountable and how to deal with it?

Dangers of natural origin

There have always been natural environmental and man-made risks. They have objective causes and are a consequence of the development of evolution. We can note that natural hazards include: earthquakes in unstable zones, oceanic tsunamis in the southern seas, eruptions of ash-lava volcanoes, severe hurricanes and tornadoes. Dangers such as tornadoes, mountain mudflows and avalanches raging on the plains also appear.blizzards and snowstorms, river floods and deluges flooding vast spaces, and rampages of the fiery element - fires. In addition, the Earth is also exposed to dangers from outer space: these are asteroids falling to the Earth, fragments from explosions of space rockets and stations that surrounded the planet in a continuous "Dyson sphere", etc. The largest natural disasters are also tropical storms and floods from tsunamis, extensive droughts raging across the continents and changing the course of history. Catastrophes of this type are distributed as a percentage as follows: respectively, 33%, then 30%, 15% and 11% of the total upper level of catastrophes. Only 11% will remain for other types of disasters.

Fire in the forest


There is no place on the planet where there would be no major disasters. The largest number of them falls on the eastern part of the Eurasian continent (39% of the total number of disasters that occurred on Earth), followed by the Americas (25%), then Europe (14%) and Africa (13%). 10% left for Oceania.

A paradox of modern civilization arises: with the era of scientific and technological revolution, life is improving, life expectancy is growing, the world is becoming safer, but the number of major natural man-made accidents and disasters is growing.

The results of the World Conference (Yokohama, 1994) determined that the damage from highly hazardous natural manifestations increases by six percent every year.

In the history of mankind, major, planetary disasters - environmental, natural and man-made - have occurred several times.

At the dawn of the development of man and society, the first ecological and technological catastrophe occurred during the transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture. Here, the cause of the disaster was not the mind, but the standards and skills of "cave" thinking. The mind of that person differed little from the modern one. They were hindered by accumulated experience, local natural and social conditions, and they could not predict the future. Also, local environmental crises arose more than once: Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, ancient India…

What is this?

Natural and technogenic risks of strategic importance are the emergence and decline of civilizations (states), the scientific and technological revolution that has engulfed the entire Earth. As well as the ecological (natural-technological) crisis that is unfolding before our eyes, coupled with global warming (according to other sources - cooling).

Fire fighting

Causes of occurrence

The population in cities is growing very rapidly. Since 1970, the number of people on Earth has increased by 1.7% per year, and in cities by 4%. The percentage of migrants in cities increased, they mastered places dangerous for living: landfills, slopes of urban ravines, floodplains of unclean rivers, coastal sparsely populated areas and routes of thermal lines, basements. The situation is complicated by the lack of the necessary engineering infrastructure in the new territories and in the unfinished construction of buildings and houses that have not passed the environmental and technological expertise. All this indicates that cities are at the center of natural disasters.disasters. Hence the troubles of people, which are becoming massive.

The World Conference held in May 1994 in the city of Yokohama (Japan) adopted a declaration stating that the reduction of damage from natural hazards should be a priority in the state strategy for sustainable development. Such a development strategy (strategy to combat natural hazards) should be based on forecasting and timely warning of the population.

One of the types of man-made risks

Term Definition

Technogenic risk is a general indicator of the functional work of all elements of the system in the technosphere. It characterizes the possibility of realizing dangers and disasters when using machines and mechanisms. It is determined through the indicator of the hazardous impact on objects and living beings. In theory, it is customary to designate: technogenic risk - Rt, individual risk - Ri, social risk - Rc. Individual and social risks in the areas of a hazardous (technological and environmental) object depend on the value of Rt-object. As you move away from the object, the danger decreases.

road accident


Technogenic risks are usually divided into internal and external. Internal risks include:

  • internal technical damage or man-made accidents (emerging groundwater, etc.);
  • internal emerging fires (fire tornadoes) and industrial explosions.

External risks include:

  • natural impacts associated with the crisisenvironmental phenomena;
  • external hurricane fires and industrial explosions;
  • cases of acts of terrorism with social consequences;
  • offensive operations and military operations using the latest weapons.

Risk classes by scale

Due to the difference in the types of consequences, natural and man-made risks can be divided into acceptable classes:

  • planetary man-made disasters;
  • earthly global catastrophes;
  • large-scale national and regional disasters;
  • local local and facility accidents.

We can point out that planetary-scale catastrophes occur as a result of collisions with large asteroids, from the consequences of "nuclear winter". Catastrophes of planetary significance also arise due to changes in the Earth's poles, glaciation of vast territories, environmental shocks and other impacts.

Gas explosion during production

Global risks include dangers from nuclear reactors when they explode; from nuclear facilities for military and other purposes; from natural earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, from tsunamis flooding the continents, from hurricanes, etc. The frequency of repetitions is 30-40 years.

National and regional hazards will be combined in one row: the causes of their occurrence (and the consequences of them) are the same. These are the strongest earthquakes, floods and forest (steppe) fires. Accidents on main pipelines create an additional risk for transport lines and power lines.Threats when transporting large masses of people and dangerous goods are important in the regions.

Local local and facility accidents are of great importance, especially for cities and surrounding areas. Phenomena such as the collapse of buildings, fires and explosions in production and civil engineering, the release of radioactive and toxic substances, have a significant impact on the he alth and lives of people.

Building collapse

So, considering the issue of technical systems and technogenic risks, we can summarize that while in the ES coverage areas, a person is exposed to an impact, which is determined by the properties of the ES and the duration of stay in the danger zone. In this regard, the problem of reliability of systems and technological equipment is becoming more and more urgent.

Man-caused risks are classified:

  • by type of impact: chemical, radiation, biological and transport, as well as natural disasters;
  • according to the degree of damage: the risk of injury to a person, the level of risk of death of an individual, the expected risk of material damage, the risk of damage to the natural environment, other integral (probabilistic) risks.

Why analysis is needed

Man-caused risk analysis is the process of identifying hazards and assessing future accidents at production facilities, property, or assessing environmental damage. It is also an analysis of hazard recognition and risk assessment for all groups of people and an individual, property and the natural environment. The degree of risk shows the upper scorethe probability of a dangerous event with a negative outcome and the possible loss. Risk assessment provides for the analysis of its frequency, the analysis of the consequences of the TS and their integral combination.

So, technogenic environmental risks generally express:

  • probability of environmental disasters resulting from economic activities;
  • probability of environmental disasters caused by vehicle accidents.

Environmental risks are usually characterized by type:

  • socio-environmental risk;
  • ecological and economic risk;
  • technical and individual risk.
Emission of gases into the atmosphere

Risk Assessment Procedure

Man-made risks are assessed according to the procedure, which includes:

  1. Creating an eco-geographical database of the region.
  2. Inventory of hazardous industrial facilities in the region and types of economic activity.
  3. Assessment of quantitative characteristics for the environment (ES) and he alth of the entire population in the region.
  4. Analysis of the infrastructure of the region and the organization of security systems, also in cases of emergency (ES).
  5. Full development and justification of the vector of strategies and optimal action plans.
  6. Formulation of overall management strategies and development of overall operational action plans.

Ways to reduce risk

Technological risk reduction is based on best practices such as:

  1. Building protection systems against man-made (environmental) accidents anddisasters.
  2. General analysis and monitoring of technical systems and operators (personnel) of a technical facility (TO).
  3. Use of possible means to prevent and eliminate emergency situations (ES) in production.

Ecological impact

The consequences of man-made risks in nature are manifested in the pollution of water bodies, soils, atmosphere and drinking water. Groundwater is the main source of drinking water. The main polluting factors are:

  • mineral fertilizers and pesticides;
  • cesspools (sumps) at agricultural enterprises;
  • public sewage systems;
  • uncontrolled landfills and abandoned quarries;
  • worn underground pipelines;
  • waste and emissions from industrial facilities and other factors.

Household and construction waste, as well as food waste can be sources of disease.

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