Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is an Optimal maintenance business process used to examine equipment such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers and piping in industrial plants. It examines the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and business risk of ‘active’ and ‘potential’ Damage Mechanisms (DMs) to assess and rank failure probability and consequence. This ranking is used to optimize inspection intervals based on site-acceptable risk levels and operating limits, while mitigating risks as appropriate. RBI analysis can be qualitative, quantitative or semi-quantitative in nature.
Accuracy is a function of analysis methodology, data quality and consistency of execution. Precision is a function of the selected metrics and computational methods. Risk presented as a single numeric value (as in a quantitative analysis) does not guarantee greater accuracy compared to a risk matrix (as in a qualitative analysis), because of uncertainty that is inherent with probabilities and consequences.
RBI is most often used in engineering industries and is predominant in the oil and gas industry. Assessed risk levels are used to develop a prioritised inspection plan. It is related to (or sometimes a part of) Risk Based Asset Management (RBAM), Risk Based Integrity Management (RBIM) and Risk Based Management (RBM). Generally, RBI is part of Risk and Reliability Management (RRM)