Bowtie diagrams are commonly used to understand and assist in the analysis of risk of potential major industrial accidents. Bowtie is especially useful in developing a clear understanding of how accidents occur and the safeguards and degradation controls to prevent them from occurring. This also makes bowtie an excellent tool for analyzing many different risks including something as simple as potential falls or even cybersecurity.
Basically, to prevent accidents during operations, it is very important that a thorough understanding of the pathways to the accident are understood by the everyone involved in the process. This includes the events that lead-up to the hazard as well as consequence mitigation that occurs after control has been lost. Well defined bowtie diagrams serve to make the pathways obvious and provide clarity to everyone involved in the process unlike other risk assessment methods.
Because of the inherent value of bowtie analysis, regulatory agencies and standards bodies are increasingly embracing this form of risk analysis and presentation.
While most bowtie analysis has been done qualitatively, Kenexis Bowtie is a quantitative analysis tool that digitizes the analysis, integrates with our Fault-tree Analysis Tool (Arbor) and our Process Safety Lifecycle Management System (Vertigo) for work with safeguard probability of failure calculations, and makes the results available for everyone to see even the status of a Safety Function instead locked away in a binder on a shelf.
Bowtie is essentially a simplified fault tree analysis on the left connected to an event tree analysis the right. Consequently, bowtie diagrams place the hazard of concern at the bowtie knot. Causes and Preventions are positioned to the left side of the knot and Consequences and Safeguards, including safeguards that reduce the magnitude of the consequence, are on the right side of the knot.
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