By: JAMES PHIPPS
Director of Risk & Integrity Management
Bow-tie diagrams: Increasing benefits in the risk
Bow-tie diagrams are a pictorial display development of risk identification and sub- controls via effective ratings. query the database in this way adds
of the relationship between the various com- sequent mitigation. The manner and means ➢ Capturing shortfalls and assigning increased flexibility.
ponents that result from what is commonly by which a risk is controlled are delivered and tracking actions. The bow-tie process can be used for a
termed the Hazard and Effects Management through people and procedures, which are number of applications:
Process. The diagrams depict the relation- also identified. Critical tasks ➢ Supports management of major haz-
ship between hazards, threats, barriers, esca- It is through the linking of critical tasks ards.
lation factors, consequences and controls in Developing the bow-tie to controlling measures that the bow-tie ➢ Unlocks relationships between haz-
the form of a qualitative risk assessment. In its simplest sense, the bow-tie can just demonstrates the implementation of a ards, controls and tasks (often hidden in
With their roots well established within the be a pictorial relationship of the hazards that management system in managing the risk paper-based systems).
traditional high hazard oil, gas and petro- can threaten the business through to the associated with hazards. Each controlling ➢ Bow-tie diagram summarizes hazard
chemical industries, the concept is increas- identification of how these hazards can be measure should have at least one support- and effects analysis.
ingly being adopted by other business sec- realized and what consequences may result. ing task, to ensure that the integrity of each ➢ Used for hazard awareness training.
tors, including transportation, finance, The controlling measures are also shown. control can be maintained. The critical ➢ Preparation of emergency exercises.
commercial and medicine. In fact, any Subject to the nature of the bow-tie tool tasks are required to be performed, under- ➢ Hazard gap analysis.
industry — or process that is exposed to risk used and processes by which information is taken or executed by responsible and com- ➢ Incident investigation.
— can benefit from this simplistic yet very distilled or collected, the management sys- petent persons. ➢ Audit checklists/planning, e.g., criti-
powerful representation of a business man- tem representation can be much more thor- The purpose of the bow-tie is to be a cal tasks can be used as the basis for audit
agement system. ough and include: dynamic reflection of the management sys- checklists.
A management system is a structured ➢ Assigning actual levels of risk via a tem which, through its clarity, can be readi- ➢ Input into operating procedures, job
and documented process for managing corporate risk matrix. ly contributed to and understood at all levels descriptions, annual tasks and targets, defin-
risks within a company, to assure the pro- ➢ Developing critical tasks that serve to in an organization. For those industries that ing individual roles and responsibilities, etc.
tection of people, the company’s assets and illustrate how a control will be managed. are regulated, the bow-tie is a clear state- ➢ Possible linkage to other forms of
the business reputation, and for the protec- ➢ The document management system ment that a business is serious about under- analysis, e.g., layer of protection analysis.
tion of the environment the company oper- and linking of the relevant documents to the standing and managing its risk profile. ➢ Capture shortfalls and track remedial
ates within. A company management sys- controls. The bow-tie process is an extremely actions.
tem will often follow a common structure, ➢ Identification and assignment of per- attractive presentation tool and there can be For more information, contact James
starting with the business principles, fol- sonnel to the critical tasks. numerous predefined reports that can be Phipps at firstname.lastname@example.org or
lowed by the progressive and continuous ➢ Monitoring the performance of the automatically generated. The ability to call +44 1925 287344. ❑
Please visit us at TCC/ACIT Environmental Health & Safety Seminar, booth no. 203
90 June/July 2008 www.bicmagazine.com