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ComplianceESGNovember 22, 2022

You want to use bowties to manage risks? You’re half-way there!

You already have all the information needed to successfully use the bowtie methodology. So why wait?
How many times has this happened: You see a new software tool and love it. You’re convinced this tool will help you and your company.
But then your status quo bias kicks in. You’re happy in your comfort zone and prefer not doing anything that will change the present state of affairs.
What if we told you that you already have all the information needed to successfully use the bowtie methodology for risk management?
A bowtie gives a visual representation of a risk, thus allowing you to see potential scenarios, determine which barriers are missing, and improve safety. You’ve heard the expression ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Well, we can also say ‘a bowtie is worth a thousand words’!
And you already have the information needed to start building bowties.

Leverage existing data on risks

If you have a mature risk management or safety management program in your company, then there’s a good chance you’re already using a well-known method to manage hazards and risks. These methods include a HAZOP (Hazard and operability) study, a HAZID (hazard analysis) study, FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), LMRA (Last Minute Risk Analysis), risk matrices, risk registers, and others.
Most of these methods provide the type of information needed for your bowties, such as hazards, top events, threats, consequences, barriers, and escalation factors.

The beauty of bowties is you can visualize all these elements to make it easier to communicate and understand critical information around hazards and risks.

Use data on incidents

Like all leading companies, chances are you capture data on incidents, including accidents and near misses. Your incident management system also includes valuable information that can be used to build bowties.
Analyze your incident data and identify:
  1. The accidents with the most severe consequences, regardless of frequency.
  2. The most frequent incidents, regardless of severity of consequences.
These two types of information will help you determine the major hazards for which the bowtie method should be used.

Take the next steps

As seen, using the bowtie method for risk management does not require starting everything from scratch. You already have the critical data needed to benefit from the power of bowties today. As with most software tools, the data is the foundation for success. And since you have the data, you’re already half-way there!
In addition, we offer year-round workshops to help you become experts in building bowties. You can attend our workshops or training courses organized by our partners.
Want to learn more? Visit our webpages on the bowtie method and the BowTieXP Enterprise solution, and reach out to us at [email protected] for any questions.
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