Proposed Canadian Standard Association (CSA) Z662 Risk Assessment Updates – Part 2

Industry Best Practices to Help Operators Prepare for Proposed Updates

The CSA Z662:19 Standard Oil and gas pipeline systems is currently being reviewed by a CSA task force comprised of industry stakeholders, with proposed changes for Risk Assessment guidance targeted for incorporation in the 2023 Standard. Although there will be no official updates until that version is released and proposed changes still require approval by the CSA Technical Committee, some key changes that are being proposed have been discussed within industry forums and it is important for pipeline operators to gain familiarity with and understand these proposed changes.

As a starting point, a review of the term “risk” and how it is used throughout the Standard to ensure there is a cohesive and consistent tone and meaning has been undertaken. The proposed updates have been completed and presented; however, must still go through the review and approval process.

In addition, Annex B of the Standard (Guidelines for risk assessment of pipeline systems) has a variety of proposed changes that are in progress. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Provide clarity on the distinguishing factors between quantitative vs. qualitative and objective vs. subjective risk estimation methods and measures;
  • Provide guidance on specific quantitative Safety Risk acceptance criteria for both Individual Risk and Societal Risk;
  • Provide guidance on specific quantitative Environmental Risk acceptance criteria;
  • Incorporate as Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) concepts into risk assessments; and,
  • Provide guidance on how individuals might establish their own risk acceptance criteria or apply risk acceptance criteria to more qualitative approaches.

The intent behind CSA Z662 developing these proposed updates is to effectively align with other higher consequence industries and other international pipeline jurisdictions to establish industry-wide risk acceptance criteria that are standardized and widely accepted. With an aim of eliminating high consequence incidents, it is of key importance for Integrity Management teams to have a meaningful basis and target for applying effective risk mitigation programs, improvement actions and overall decision-making.

Dynamic Risk brings a laser focused approach to better align our clients’ risk modeling and risk assessments to provide for the ability to compare against risk acceptance criteria. In 2016, PHMSA published a paper study on Risk Tolerance which included a survey of pipeline operators that highlighted the barriers to establishing risk criteria including a lack of historical data, legal concerns and lack of expertise and/or resources. We address these barriers that have been identified by operators through applying the expertise and rigor needed to risk modeling and risk assessment to ensure the approaches provide for effective decision-making through comparison to appropriate risk acceptance criteria.

Our software application, IRAS RiskAnalyst, provides Integrity Management teams the ability to understand and manage the various changes impacting pipeline risk using a qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative approach. Users can demonstrate an optimized plan through systematic testing, scenario models and cost-benefit analysis to continuously refine and improve their pipeline risk assessment program. There are many ways to calculate risk and the ability for operators to make informed and confident decisions for their risk assessment and mitigation actions is top priority.

Update: View our latest blog post featuring Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z662:23 Proposed Updates: Risk Assessment

About the Author:

Dan Williams is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering Science (B.E.Sc.) in Materials Engineering and has over 25 years combined experience in pipe manufacturing and pipeline integrity. Dan is a Principal Consultant at Dynamic Risk where he is responsible for providing technical leadership in pipeline engineering assessment and risk management services. This includes providing subject matter expert guidance on the development of pipeline risk models (leveraging in-line inspection, direct assessment and GIS inputs), conducting threat-based engineering assessments and evaluating and reporting on pipeline risk results as actionable risk reports that can support effective decision-making for clients in Canada and the United States.

Dan can be reached at