What is a Bow Tie Risk Assessment, and How Does It Work?
When it comes to risk analysis, most people are used to using a risk matrix and going through a step-by-step risk analysis process. This is the most common way of approaching risk analysis, but other options exist.
If you have not heard of the Bow Tie Risk Assessment, it’s a fantastic tool for analysing and visualising incident cause-and-effects in a diagram. It is an integral part of planning for risk management, especially where there is high to extreme risk, or the controls are rated as low.
Risk Bow Ties are developed as a strategy for analysing hazard and operational risks and have grown in popularity in Enterprise Risk Management programmes in recent years. It is a straightforward method for determining new or improved controls.
Here you will see it demonstrates the risk components, Causes, Events, Impacts, and Controls, from left to right on the risk timeline.
This diagram represents the risk landscape using various elements such as threats, top events, consequences, barriers, and recovery measures.
How the Bow Tie Risk Assessment Methodology Works
By reading the above graphic from left to right, answer these:
- If this threat / potential cause occurs, will it create the event when combined with the hazard?
- If it does make the event, will the possible outcome indicate a real consequence of the event?
- If any of those questions need to be corrected, so does your diagram.
The Advantages of Bow Tie risk assessment in Mining Safety Management
Bow Tie analysis provides a systematic and comprehensive method for mining corporations to identify and evaluate hazards, their implications, and the efficacy of controls.
The diagram’s clear and concise visual portrayal of the risk situation helps communicate causes, consequences and controls to the workforce in an easily understandable way.
It can also be used to support incident investigations and determining how to prevent them from reoccurring.
Conducting a Bow Tie Risk Assessment in Your Mining Operation
To complete a bowtie analysis perform the following steps;
- Identify the hazard you want to assess, e.g. working at height
- Define the top events also known as the loss of control of energy point that can result from the hazard e.g. fall from height
- Identify the potential causes that could lead to the top event e.g. fall over edge
- Identify the potential consequences that could result from the top event e.g. striking surface below
- Identify the preventive controls which prevent the cause leading to the top event e.g. guardrails, working at height permits, safety procedures, training, or equipment safeguards.
- Identify the mitigating controls which mitigate the level of consequence from the top event e.g. lanyard and harness, emergency response plan.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the control measures to prevent or mitigate the top events.
- Determine the Critical Controls to both prevent the top event and mitigate the consequence of the top event.
- Regularly review and update the Bow Tie diagram as new information becomes available or the risk landscape changes.
Implementing Bow Tie Risk Assessment in Your Mining Safety Management System best practices
For best results, bring front workers, technical specialists, risk owners, critical control owners, safety professionals, and senior management on the journey to guarantee a complete and collaborative risk assessment.
Data is your friend, so collect and analyse incident reports, near-miss information, and safety statistics data, and ensure those conducting the evaluations are trained in the Bow Tie Risk Assessment methodology and principles. We offer training in bowtie analysis as part of our Critical Risk Management Masterclass!
Bow Tie risk assessment should be incorporated into established safety management systems and processes for optimal results.
Continuous improvement is the aim of the game. To ensure that the Bow Tie diagrams accurately reflect the current risk landscape, they must be reviewed and updated regularly if new risks are discovered, control measures are revised, or occurrences occur.
When it comes to developing effective Safety and Health Management Systems, Impress Solutions are industry leaders. By working together, we can ensure the safety of the mining community in the long term.
We’re always available to chat with you about your mine’s needs and requirements in regard to health and safety.
If you want us to help you save lives at work then get in touch with us today.