Everyone wants to prevent loss-producing incidents from happening. To do this, organizations need to have a clear understanding of their risk. Obex Risk specializes in working with organizations to lead them through this challenging process. We offer a range of intuitive process safety tools, including bow tie analysis, critical controls management and inherently safer design, to develop that clear understanding of risk so the best solutions can be identified to make processes safer.
Bow Tie Analysis
Obex Risk is your trusted partner for bow tie analysis, backed by extensive experience and a streamlined process. Bow tie analysis is a visual risk assessment that communicates:
What situations can lead to an undesirable event,
What barriers you have in place to prevent or mitigate such an event,
How your barriers may be less effective and
What needs to be done to ensure they are effective and reliable.
Bow tie analysis is a barrier-based risk management tool and an established process hazard analysis (PHA) method. Bow tie analysis helps visualize risk and focuses on the barriers that prevent unwanted events from occurring.
Barriers are not 100% reliable - they can fail. Bow tie analysis examines barrier failure and helps identify how they can be made more effective and reliable.
Structure your thinking and uncover gaps in your risk management.
How it works
A bow tie analysis starts with four elements: a Hazard, Top Event, Threats and Consequences. These are arranged in a diagram to show how a hazardous or undesired event could happen due to threats and what the potential consequences are.
Next, the prevention barriers that can stop the hazardous or undesired event from happening are added to the diagram.
Additionally, the mitigation barriers that can reduce the severity or likelihood of consequences are added to the diagram.
Lastly, barriers can fail – this is captured in a bow tie analysis through identified degradation factors. Barriers can be made more effective through identifying degradation factor controls. This gives you the complete story in one diagram.
Why Bow Tie Analysis?
Structure your thinking and uncover gaps in your risk management.
Simple visual representation
Easily understood across all levels of the organization
Analyze any type of risk associated with a process
Facilitates stakeholder engagement and participation, while improving understanding
Bow Tie Analysis Workshop:
A bow tie analysis workshop is a collaborative, comprehensive hazard analysis. The workshop is a team-based risk assessment that enables you to assess hazards and manage safeguards to reduce risk in your operations.
By collaborating with key personnel across your organization, bow tie workshops capture the expertise of multiple stakeholders, allowing you to gain a more complete picture of your hazards and safeguards.
The bow tie analysis conducted through our workshops are customized to your process and follow an intuitive visual structure that makes risk easy to understand. These bow ties simplify the communication of risk to different audiences, ranging from frontline team members to management. This results in a better understanding of risk, your safeguards and opportunities for process improvement.
Case Study Bow Tie Analysis:
Bow tie diagrams that examine a near-miss or an incident case study can be a very valuable tool to determine root causes and demonstrate lessons learned. By answering some simple questions, Obex Risk can develop bow tie diagrams for your case study that can be used for learning and communications throughout your organization.
Excited to learn how your organization can benefit from bow tie analysis?
Inherently Safer Design
When you can remove risk, do it.
Inherently safer design (ISD) is the approach to risk management that focuses on the elimination of a hazard, rather than relying only on add-on safety devices and procedures.
ISD is the most preferred control, followed by passive engineered, active engineered, and administrative.
By implementing ISD principles, you can rely less heavily on add-on safety equipment and procedures to address and manage hazards. Remember, ISD allows you to reduce the risk directly, not just manage the existing level of risk. Whether you are an operating facility, or you’re at the design stage, it is never too late to consider ISD. Obex Risk uses a unique ISD workshop that is a hands-on and collaborative approach to identifying opportunities to incorporate ISD in your specific application.
The Obex Risk ISD workshop is based on expertise gained through years of research and experience.
Combustible Dust Hazard Consulting
Powdered metals, plastics, and wood fibre: examples of combustible dusts that can lead to fires and explosions.
Handling, processing and storing combustible dust presents unique safety challenges. Obex Risk provides support for managing combustible dust hazards, including training, and research and development. Bow tie analysis is an effective tool for assessing combustible dust hazards and controls. From considering different ignition sources to identifying and assessing the measures in place to prevent a loss of control, Obex Risk collaborates with your operation to lead comprehensive bow tie workshops, providing you with a clearer view on risk and your strategies for managing it.
Read more about how bow tie analysis is being used to manage combustible dust in the wood pellet industry
Critical Control Management
If everything else failed, what control would stop an incident from happening?
Some barriers can be designated as more crucial than others for risk control, which can help with prioritization of activities, like inspections and maintenance. Obex Risk can help you identify these barriers using bow tie analysis and provide a framework for managing these. This allows you to know where and how to focus your efforts to ensure these barriers are as effective and reliable as possible for protecting your organization.
Want to incorporate critical controls management in your facility?
Read more about this process currently being rolled out in the wood pellet industry
Process Safety Research and Consulting
Practical approaches to risk management.
Process safety focuses on preventing, mitigating, responding to and recovering from process-related incidents. While process safety may be well-known in the chemical processing industry, it doesn’t stop there. Process safety concepts are highly relevant in other sectors and extend into many high-hazard applications, like wood processing, pulp and paper, food production and manufacturing.
Obex Risk aims to broaden the use of process safety and enhance its adoption across other industries and fields. Obex Risk can help support the development of process safety in your organization, including elements like risk assessments and safety culture.
Are you interested in learning more about how process safety could be leveraged in your organization?
Learn more about how process safety is being implemented in high-hazard industries here