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Risk Analysis, Assessment and Management for Sustainable Engineering Projects

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 March 2023) | Viewed by 25426

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67132 Xanthi, Greece
Interests: safety and reliability; occupational safety and health; risk management; risk assessment; risk analysis and engineering on constructions and industries; electrodynamics; data analysis; time series analysis

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Guest Editor
CERIDES – Excellence in Innovation and Technology, European University Cyprus, 2404 Nicosia, Cyprus
Interests: risk assessment; safety management in micro firms; societal safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67132 Xanthi, Greece
Interests: intelligent systems; computational intelligence and cognitive engineering; data analytics and knowledge engineering; decision support systems, production and logistics engineering and management; engineering and project management, optimization, safety-risk and reliability engineering and management; total quality management and business excellence; innovation and technology management; patents; standardization, corporate social responsibility; international standards organization; global reporting initiative
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Taking into consideration that one of the intentions of “sustainable engineering” is to create structures that validate evolution without jeopardizing the natural environment’s quality, and coming generations’ capability to meet their own necessities, modern engineering tactics concentrate (among other options) on the system design/operation in a manner that allows sustainable usage of resources. Thus, decision-making processes must be enhanced by techniques and methods which allow decision-makers to use a broad variety of sustainable alternatives.

Protection of employees’ health and safety in the workplace is a universally vital aspect, in parallel with the effort of enhancing the productivity and upgrading the sustainable development of a firm. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines sustainable development as a policy “to meet the needs of today’s global population without adversely affecting its health and the environment and without destroying (or endangering) the global resource base, and thus without jeopardizing the ability of the coming generations to meet their needs”. Occupational accidents, on one hand, have a significant impact upon human body integrity and affect employees, business operation, and the overall sustainability performance of firms and, on the other hand, generate high expenses for the social health and insurance system of any country and demote society’s sustainability. Each corporation is progressively more concerned with the improvement of sustainability and occupational safety and health (ΟSΗ) performance, and this is attained by controlling ΟSΗ risks, in accordance with their ΟSΗ policy, and in the context of applying risk assessment and analysis (RAA) techniques and the state’s legislation. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes that actions to ensure occupational safety and health can be incorporated into sustainability efforts and take advantage of the dynamics of sustainability to make companies’ workplaces safer and healthier. In this respect, the conception of sustainability is used as a frame to categorize existing and/or develop new OSH standards (e.g., ISO 45001, OSHAS 18001, etc.), and also to generate multitudinous, efficacious and modern RAA techniques.

The way that a technical project attains its sustainability goal is implemented by emphasizing, among other aspects, sustainable living, for instance, the actualization of health, which includes, among other things, building and infrastructure technology. What is more, the OSHA accepts that actions to guarantee OSH can be involved in sustainability efforts and take advantage of the dynamics of sustainability to make each workplace safer and healthier. Moreover, the notion of sustainability is utilized as a frame to sort subsistent (or to grow new) OSH standards and to develop novel and innovative OSH-RAA assessment techniques (Marhavilas et al.; Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104280).

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome on theory/methods/applications, and case studies coming from cross-discipline aspects of sustainable engineering, energy, production, economics, and the environment.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Panagiotis K. Marhavilas
Prof. George Boustras
Prof. Dimitrios E. Koulouriotis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • risk management
  • individual and societal risk
  • risk assessment techniques
  • risk analysis and engineering on constructions and industries
  • risk acceptance criteria
  • occupational safety and health
  • energy engineering and management
  • engineering and project management
  • industrial ecology
  • operations research methods and applications
  • project economics and risk management
  • sustainable engineering innovation and entrepreneurship
  • safety and reliability
  • intelligent methods
  • decision support systems

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 994 KiB  
Article
Public Perception of Green Supply Chains and Its Impact on Customer Behavior: An Empirical Analysis
by Ioannis Charalampidis, Alexandros Xanthopoulos, Anastasios Diamantidis and Prodromos Chatzoglou
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16345; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316345 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1961
Abstract
The public is increasingly becoming aware of environmental challenges and adjusting its purchasing behavior in pursuit of sustainable products and services. To compete in the global scene, firms need to transform their supply chains to adhere to eco-friendly practices. This study focuses on [...] Read more.
The public is increasingly becoming aware of environmental challenges and adjusting its purchasing behavior in pursuit of sustainable products and services. To compete in the global scene, firms need to transform their supply chains to adhere to eco-friendly practices. This study focuses on the electronics market, which is distinctively interesting due to its small product life cycles, high-end capabilities, and fierce competition. A novel research model comprising nine hypotheses that attempt to investigate and assess the factors influencing customers’ perceptions and purchasing preferences in relation to green supply chains in the electronics industry was developed. We conducted field research to test the model empirically using survey data from 147 individuals with different backgrounds. The dataset was verified and validated by means of explanatory factor analysis. Structural equation modeling analysis was performed that revealed the linkage between demographics (age), willingness to pay, purchasing intention, and green consumerism. Other research findings included the intricate interconnections between environmental concern, knowledge, attitude, customers’ perceptions/effectiveness, and behavior. This research gives insights into green consumerism in the electronics sector, and its managerial implications can guide sustainable supply chain practices and customer-centric marketing approaches. Full article
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23 pages, 1604 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Risk Assessment of Water Conservancy Scenic Spot PPP Projects
by Xue Xu, Min Zhao, Xiaoya Li and Chao Song
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16625; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416625 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
The water conservancy scenic spot is an important part of China’s water ecological civilization construction and is an important way to transform “clear water and green mountains” into “mountains of gold and silver”. The current development of the water conservancy scenic spot is [...] Read more.
The water conservancy scenic spot is an important part of China’s water ecological civilization construction and is an important way to transform “clear water and green mountains” into “mountains of gold and silver”. The current development of the water conservancy scenic spot is limited by the conditions of capital, management, and technology. The PPP model, as a means of introducing these elements, is an effective way to realize the marketization, characterization, and high-quality development of water conservancy scenic spots. Due to the particularity and complexity of water conservancy scenic spots, the PPP model, and their combination, the risks in water conservancy scenic spot PPP projects are more complicated. Identification and assessment, as well as response, are necessary ways to reduce project risks. In this paper, the risk evaluation index system and the DEMATEL-ANP-FUZZY risk evaluation model of the water conservancy scenic spot PPP project are put forward and, then, the key risk factors, causal relationship between the factors, and risk level of the project are obtained in combination with case analysis. The results show that risks in construction and operation, as well as political and economic risks, are the key risk factors in the water conservancy scenic spot PPP project, and the natural, economic and political risk factors are the main causes of project risk. Risks in construction and operation, as well as organizational and social risks, are the main affected factors. Further analysis shows that the political and economic factors are the key points to focus on when attempting to reduce the project risk, and suggestions are provided, such as improving the legal and regulatory framework, establishing a reasonable risk-sharing and social capital withdrawal mechanism, unblocking social capital participation channels, and strengthening financial support. This could provide a reference for the risk management of water conservancy scenic spot PPP projects. Full article
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23 pages, 6639 KiB  
Article
Potential Effects on Human Safety and Health from Infrasound and Audible Frequencies Generated by Vibrations of Diesel Engines Using Biofuel Blends at the Workplaces of Sustainable Engineering Systems
by Gavriil D. Chaitidis, Panagiotis K. Marhavilas and Venetis Kanakaris
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137554 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
Employees involved in various occupational environments that include vibration machines and any kind of vehicles are adversely subjected to multiple source noise. Thus, the corresponding noise frequencies (and mainly the infrasound ones) present high interest, especially from the viewpoint of sustainability, due to [...] Read more.
Employees involved in various occupational environments that include vibration machines and any kind of vehicles are adversely subjected to multiple source noise. Thus, the corresponding noise frequencies (and mainly the infrasound ones) present high interest, especially from the viewpoint of sustainability, due to the potential effects on human safety and health (H_S&H) in sustainable engineering projects. Moreover, the occupational safety and health (OSH) visualization (a fact of unveiling the social dimension of sustainability) of occupational workplaces (by evaluating the infrasound and audible noise frequencies generated by diesel engines) could help a safety officer to lessen crucial risk factors in the OSH field and also to protect, more efficiently, the employees by taking the most essential safety measures. This study (i) suggests a technique to determine the infrasound and audible sound frequencies produced due to vibrations of diesel engines, by using biofuels (i.e., sustainable utilization of resources), in order to evaluate potential effects on human safety and health at the workplaces of sustainable engineering projects, and (ii) it ultimately aims to contribute to the improvement of the three “sustainability pillars” (economy, social, and environmental). Therefore, it provides experimental results of the frequency of the noise (regarding the infrasound and audible spectrum) that a diesel motor generates by vibration, in the frame of using different engine rpms (850, 1150, and 2000) and a variety of biofuel mixtures (B20-D80, B40-D60, B60-D40, and B80-D20). The article shows that the fuel blend meaningfully affects the generated noise, and more particularly, the usage of biofuel blends coming from mixing diesel oil with biodiesel (a fact of the emerging environmental dimension of sustainability) can produce various noise frequencies, which are determined in the infrasound and audible spectra (~10–23 Hz). The suggested technique, by ameliorating the OSH situation, doubtless will help enterprises to achieve the finest allocation of limited financial resources (a fact corresponding to the economic dimension of sustainability), allowing financial managers to have more available budget for implementing other risk-reduction projects. Full article
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33 pages, 964 KiB  
Article
Benchmarking ISO Risk Management Systems to Assess Efficacy and Help Identify Hidden Organizational Risk
by Svana Helen Björnsdottir, Pall Jensson, Saemundur E. Thorsteinsson, Ioannis M. Dokas and Robert J. de Boer
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094937 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5529
Abstract
The overall aim of this article is to contribute to the further development of the area of benchmarking in risk management. The article introduces a two-step benchmarking model to assess the efficacy of ISO risk management systems. It furthermore aims at verifying its [...] Read more.
The overall aim of this article is to contribute to the further development of the area of benchmarking in risk management. The article introduces a two-step benchmarking model to assess the efficacy of ISO risk management systems. It furthermore aims at verifying its usefulness in terms of finding hidden risk issues and improvement opportunities. The existence of all key elements of an ISO 31000-based risk management system is examined at the beginning of this study. Then, the quality in terms of efficacy of important aspects of the risk management system is examined in more detail with special benchmarks. The application of the model to six ISO-certified organizations follows and reinforces the novelty of this study, which is to combine risk science knowledge with benchmarking theory in the application of ISO risk management standards in organizations. The results show that the benchmarking model developed in this study provides rigor when assessing and evaluating the efficacy of an ISO risk management system. By applying the model, risk issues and risk factors can be found that had not previously been identified. The findings are of importance for risk management, the benchmarking science, and for the development of ISO risk management standards. Full article
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19 pages, 591 KiB  
Article
Developing a Risk Analysis Strategy Framework for Impact Assessment in Information Security Management Systems: A Case Study in IT Consulting Industry
by Fotis Kitsios, Elpiniki Chatzidimitriou and Maria Kamariotou
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031269 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6542
Abstract
Organizations must be committed to ensuring the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the information in their possession to manage legal and regulatory obligations and to maintain trusted business relationships. Information security management systems (ISMSs) support companies to better deal with information security risks [...] Read more.
Organizations must be committed to ensuring the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the information in their possession to manage legal and regulatory obligations and to maintain trusted business relationships. Information security management systems (ISMSs) support companies to better deal with information security risks and cyber-attacks. Although there are many different approaches to successfully implementing an ISMS in a company, the most important and time-consuming part of establishing an ISMS is a risk assessment. The purpose of this paper was to develop a risk assessment framework that a company followed in the information technology sector to conduct the risk assessment process to comply with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001. The findings analyze the conditions that force organizations to invest in protecting information and the benefits they can derive from this process. In particular, the paper delves into a multinational IT consulting services company that undertakes and implements large business support installation and customization projects. It explains the risk assessment process and the management of the necessary configurations so that its functions are acceptable and in line with information security standards. Finally, it presents the difficulties and challenges encountered. Full article
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37 pages, 6543 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment Models to Improve Environmental Safety in the Field of the Economy and Organization of Construction: A Case Study of Russia
by Arkadiy Larionov, Ekaterina Nezhnikova and Elena Smirnova
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13539; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413539 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3169
Abstract
This article assesses risks in order to substantiate the economic and organizational efficiency of housing and industrial construction. This topic is relevant because it is necessary for sustainable development. In Russia, environmental safety in construction and housing, as well as communal services, is [...] Read more.
This article assesses risks in order to substantiate the economic and organizational efficiency of housing and industrial construction. This topic is relevant because it is necessary for sustainable development. In Russia, environmental safety in construction and housing, as well as communal services, is poorly developed and not regulated by the legal system. As building construction, housing, and communal services should be based on environmental safety, this topic requires rapid development. Methods related to quantifying environmental risk and making decisions under conditions of uncertainty were studied. A quantitative risk assessment was performed using the Monte Carlo method for pessimistic and optimistic options to prevent environmental damage. The model reproduced the distribution derived from the evidence-based fit. The results of sensitivity analysis are also presented to prove the hypothesis. The selection of the most appropriate probability density functions for each of the input quantities was implemented through settings in a computer program. The simulation modeling results clearly illustrate the choice of the general principle of assessment and the adoption of the optimal decision. In conditions of uncertainty, the decision to choose the optimistic options with high cost (to maintain the reliability of the technical system) but less risk plays a decisive role in the future environmental safety strategies of construction projects. The Monte Carlo method is preferable for environmental impact assessments. In the future, the amended methodology can be applied to raise environmental safety in the field of construction. Full article
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Review

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29 pages, 2362 KiB  
Review
International Management System Standards Related to Occupational Safety and Health: An Updated Literature Survey
by Panagiotis K. Marhavilas, Fani Pliaki and Dimitrios Koulouriotis
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013282 - 15 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3357
Abstract
The implementation of an international management system (IMS) in any organization (or part thereof) creates an efficient framework regarding the sustainable development and the review of processes required to manage occupational safety and health (OSH) efficaciously. Moreover, Occupational Safety and Health Management System [...] Read more.
The implementation of an international management system (IMS) in any organization (or part thereof) creates an efficient framework regarding the sustainable development and the review of processes required to manage occupational safety and health (OSH) efficaciously. Moreover, Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) standards identify requirements regarding OSH management systems, with the aim of enabling an organization to adopt dynamic policy and objectives that take into consideration lawful requirements relating to OSH risks (e.g., safe and healthy workplaces, prevention of work-related injuries, etc.). This article extends the research and the results of a previous study of ours and comparatively presents (a) the main IMS standards concerning OSHMS and (b) the statistical results and new findings of an updated literature survey for additional time intervals (i.e., the years 1995–2005 and 2018–2020), ultimately covering the entire period of the years 1995–2020. Thus, the main targets of the study were (i) the implementation and comparative presentation of OSHMS standards, (ii) the reinforcement of their application at the worksites of any organization, and (iii) the development of a new ameliorated OSH management system model based on the knowledge from the literature review. On the other hand, some dominant results and findings are the following: (a) The industrial sector and construction sector demonstrate the highest percentage of OSHMS utilization. (b) The OHSAS 18001 standard remains the most frequent OSHMS standard even though, despite the fact that the ISO 45001:2018 is a recently developed OSHMS, it presents a considerable percentage distribution with reference to the total OSHMS articles despite its brief lifespan. (c) An effectual IMS OSHMS must merge various management systems, such as OSH (safety and health), QMS (quality), and EMS (environmental). (d) Organizations and businesses of any kind and any size can certainly develop and implement OSHMS standards. (e) Some substantial barriers to the implementation of an OSHMS standard are the high cost vis à vis implementation and management, the difficulty for the employees to realize its significance in OSH, and the complicatedness of combining different standards. (f) Occupational epidemiology must be one of the main features of an OSHMS standard. (g) Governments, employers, and employees admit day after day that the effectiveness of applying OSHMS standards at the organization level is considerable for decreasing the occupational hazards and risks and also for raising productivity. Full article
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