Bow Tie Risk Assessment

Bow Tie Risk Assessment Paul Esposito, CIH, CSP

Risk Assessments are today’s leading frontier for safety professionals looking to make a real difference in the prevention of incidents.   With the advent of the ISO 31000 series of standards, safety professionals are looking to determine its applicability to the safety world, as well as learn the skills necessary to be at executive level discussions regarding enterprise risk management.  While U. S based safety professionals have for years performed hazard analysis, there are circumstances where higher hazard and more complex prevention and consequence analysis is needed.  This is Bowtie.  Bowtie can be considered a combination of the logic of a fault tree analyzing the cause of an event, and an event tree analyzing the consequences.

ISO 31010, Risk Assessment Techniques, lists Bowtie analysis as a simple diagrammatic way of describing and analyzing the pathways of a risk from hazards to outcomes and reviewing controls it can be considered a combination of the logic of a fault tree analyzing the cause of an event, and an event tree analyzing the consequences.  With the ever increasing use of risk assessment and the myriad of methods and techniques, Bowtie analysis is medium in complexity.  Bowtie identifies both the activities that keep a control working and who is responsible for a Control.  The Bowtie can also be used effectively to assure that hazards are managed to an acceptable level (ALARP).  For organizations looking for a bit more rigor in their risk assessment process, a process where you can link causal relationships in high risk scenarios, then Bowtie may be for you.

Paul Esposito
President of STAR Consultants, Inc.

Since 1997, Mr. Esposito has been President of STAR Consultants, Inc. www.starconsultants.net  With over 33 years of technical experience, Mr. Esposito has lead HSE consulting organizations for over 25 years. He has a Masters in Health and Safety from Johns Hopkins University. Most recently, Mr. Esposito was a Vice President and Practice Leader of Management Systems and Assessments for ESIS Inc., the consulting arm of ACE Insurance Co.

Based in Annapolis, MD, Mr. Esposito assists STAR customers worldwide in the implementation, delivery and assessment (audit) capabilities of EHS programs, including the development of strategic planning, leading metrics (to include risk-based metrics utilizing a balanced scorecard approach), organizational culture and management systems (to include VPP). Mr. Esposito regularly provides senior and executive level consulting for management systems, strategic planning, cultural improvements and surveys and risk assessment for global (worldwide) customers, and presents on these topics at industry conferences throughout North America. He regularly publishes in technical journals and presents at conferences and seminars nationally and internationally.