Comparison of Risk Assessments for Underground Construction Projects A study about distinctions and common features and suggestions for improvements
This master thesis is a study of risk assessment tools and other risk management
documentation created by consultants and contractors in the US and Sweden for
underground construction projects. Risk management as part of managing
underground projects is common practice in both countries for underground
construction projects. Depending on location and other parameters other types of risks
than the geological ones need to be considered, for example of the settings of the
project is an urban environment or if it is situated in a less densely populated area.
Normally underground project also involves large investments and therefore
managing cost is important. Risk management is a way of managing cost and other
areas that may be of concern.
The main goals of this thesis are to:
Identify a theoretical general approach to risk management and specifically risk
assessments based on a literature study
Identify similarities between risk management practices in the two countries
Identify differences between risk management practices in the two countries
Identify how risk management practices differ in the two countries from the
theoretical approach established from the literature study
Apart from the study of theoretical literature 12 projects in total were studied; 5
Swedish projects and 7 projects from the USA. The conclusions of this thesis are
generally not statistically significant nor do they indicate trends; they are purely
observation on the specific documentation studied.
When comparing application in Sweden vs. application in the USA; main conclusions
It is recognized that practices within risk management are generally the same in
the two countries as established when studying theoretical literature on the
subject. However categorization of risk parameters is normally less detailed in
both countries’ project specific documentation than found in theoretical
The US risk management as a rule includes a numerical simulation to determine
contingency levels for cost and schedule high ranked risks but the simulations
were not done in the Swedish project specific documents. However it must be
remembered that the US-projects studied were provided from one soul provider
and is not in any way significant for this country but for the particular provider
Evaluating the risk registers of the projects studied there seem to be more
concern for damages to third party in the US as compared to in Sweden. Also
right-of-way, insurance and financial issues are of higher concern in the US
projects studied as compared to the Swedish projects studied.
The projects in Sweden put a slightly higher emphasis on space availability for
construction than in the US projects.
For more detailed findings; please read on!
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