Generating a bowtie from a HAZID study

When it comes to risk management, the first task any organisation must undertake is identification. A comprehensive and structured risk identification process across your operations will create a prioritised list of controls and recommendations to minimise impact on personnel, processes, quality, environment, reputation and profitability.

The hazard identification study (HAZID) and hazard and operability study (HAZOP) are the most commonly used and most flexible, structured risk identification, assessment, prioritisation and treatment processes. The resultant hazard study worksheet showing existing and proposed controls – as well as recommendations – is a detailed record of findings that can be communicated across the organisation and drive control implementation and improvement.

Meercat RiskView supports full HAZID and HAZOP functionality with MS Excel input and export, so you can stick with your tool of choice and still benefit from this capability.

The Shelf or the Bowtie?

It is normally only the top 10 per cent of risk issues that make it out of the hazard study and into some other form of risk assessment, and generally that’s because of the prohibitive cost of more detailed studies. But what if taking that step was close to instant and free? What if you could generate a bowtie from your study data and perform a Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) assessment within a few minutes?

Meercat RiskView supports a novel function which begins when you select one or more study issues or nodes (from now on, just “issues”) and then click on the Generate Bowtie button. It continues like this:

1. The hazard and top event details are extracted from the available data in the selected issue(s).

2. For each issue, every Cause and associated preventative controls are identified.

3. For each issue, every Consequence and associate mitigative controls are identified.

4. All the elements are then assembled and created as a new risk scenario in the current risk register.

5. All the cause likelihoods, consequence severities and control effectiveness values are set and the bowtie calculated so that upon opening the risk ratings are all valid.

Depending on the size of the bowtie generated, the process can take from between a few seconds to a few minutes, so the user is given the option of waiting or continuing to work and they will be ready when the new bowtie is ready.

Of course, when complete, it appears as any other bowtie might, as shown below.

It’s not all sunshine and light, though. Some of our users have found that commonly repeated consequences and their mitigating controls can create duplication within the generated bowtie. This is a product of the structure of the hazard study, and the current workaround is to simply identify, select and delete those repeated items.It really is as simple as that. With your new bowtie, you have an easy-to-read, share and communicate visual representation of the risk that can stop there, or can be used to identify critical controls, go on to perform a quantitative analysis, Probable Loss of Life (PLL) calculation, or form part of your control assurance programme.

We’re not happy with this imperfection however, so we are working on a two-way process that will support synchronising the changes initiated in either the hazard study or the bowtie, all with a simple Sync button click. It will be very cool and we are very excited about bringing it to our users.

Given the high stakes involved, there’s obviously nothing that can be over-simplified in risk management. With that said, Meercat RiskView is designed to do as much of the hard work it can for you, making the process as quick, painless and productive as possible.

Speak to us today about how we can help your organisation use HAZID and HAZOP study data and bowties to create a safer work space.

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