BowTieXP is a next generation risk assessment tool that uses the Bowtie Method to assess risks. BowTieXP is unique in its ability to visualise complex risks in a way that is understandable, yet also allows for detailed risk based improvement plans.
Summarise existing safety studies
It can be a challenge to see the bigger picture through the maze of safety studies that are conducted. BowTies provide a summary of all of them, getting the key pieces of information out and giving a good overview. In the process, gaps in original safety studies float to the surface which can be answered in a BowTie workshop.
Uncover new operational issues
Often, new insights will emerge from BowTie workshops that were not identified with other methods. The highly visual and interactive nature of BowTie building ensures maximum involvement from operational staff. Because BowTies are created by operational staff, relevant information is included and the staff has a sense of ownership and acceptance of the BowTies.
Visualise your Safety Management System on a BowTie
You can build a Safety Management System that is rooted in a Bowtie risk analysis. Each activity can be traced back to the reasons for doing it. The SMS exists primarily in identifying safety critical activities undertaken to assure the on-going integrity of risk barriers. Everyone can see the riskcontext in the Bowtie, together with the activities.
Barrier effectiveness gives instant visual insight into the strength of your Barriers.
Having different Barrier types will increase the robustness of the organisation, by decreasing the likelihood of common mode failures.
Making people responsible for Barriers makes it transparant what everybody is supposed to do to operate safely.
Use risk matrices to assess if you've adequately controlled all your risks in a visual way. Matrices can easily be customised to company standards. Inherent and residual risk assessments allow for demonstration of improvement in risk level.
BowTieXP promotes relevant organisational improvements. BowTies can highlight areas where organisational control is weak, enabling resources to be targeted at those areas where most benefit is likely to be gained. BowTies have also been used to ensure that critical Barriers do not fall through the cracks after a company reorganisation, merger or acquisition.
BowTie diagrams are easy to read and understand, making risk communication efficient and understandable.
The ease of understanding might be one of the most convincing arguments for the BowTie. People really understand the risk analysis because it's on the right abstraction level. To distribute the BowTies, organisations are using for example, posters, pocket books and leaflets to highlight key risk control issues. Web-based BowTies are also increasingly a part of on-line training and information systems. These make sure that risk communication is fully integrated in the organisation. In risk communication, we find over and over that a picture does paint a thousand words.
Besides being easy to understand, BowTies also provide an overview and insight that is not obtained by any other method of risk analysis & assessment. This is because BowTie actually reduces complexity to a manageable size without losing the context and focus on the critical elements. All too often risk analysis can become progressively more complex, and people in the organisation will stop accepting the increase in complexity. BowTies avoid this and make sure that everyone is kept involved by keeping the complexity at the right level.
BowTies can also be used to demonstrate that risks are being controlled. This provides management with the assurance that risks are being properly managed and was the primary driver for the implementation of the approach within Shell from the mid-1990s. BowTies have been used successfully in formal safety reports produced for compliance with the European onshore chemical industry Seveso II Directive.