Bowtie Risk Models Evolve To Become The Nucleus Of Modern Process Safety Management Software

Since the bowtie risk model’s inception in the 90’s oil and gas sector, it has cemented its place on the toolbelt of process safety managers in a plethora of industries. Traditionally, the bowtie risk model was only a means of identifying hazards and the associated risk prevention and mitigation measures. These diagrams were frequently only viewed once, during the initial assessment of hazards in a facility, and after being checked and signed off, the bowtie was doomed to be shelf-ware. In today’s safety-conscious industries, the bowtie has bloomed to become an integral part of safety audits and incident analysis with flavours that offer quantifiability of risk across the whole enterprise.

Analysis of big data coming from various sensors and assets is a modern feature that is moving bowtie software towards barrier risk management. The importance of properly interpreted data was discussed at Verdantix’s Next And Best Practices: Mastering Process Safety Management virtual event. Speaking to a live audience Paul McCulloch, a process safety and implementation consultant for CGE Risk Management Solutions, said that the main challenge a process safety manager faces is being “data rich but information poor”. CGE Risk’s BowTieXL solution helps to calculate barrier effectiveness values by defining variables that are displayed visually on top of bowties.

Bowtie risk management software from VelocityEHS bridges the gap between process safety management (PSM) and operational risk management with functionality that supports HAZOP and LOPA. To communicate the risk of a barrier failure, VelocityEHS’s offering dynamically updates line thickness on a bowtie model using near real time data. This design allows technology champions at pilot sites to use their initial assessments as templates for other industrial facilities with similar systems.

Verdantix research finds that future PSM solutions will be more predictive than reactive, using real time data for risk modelling. The demand for an integrated PSM platform that encompasses worker safety, asset health and operational risk is on the rise with EHS and asset performance management software vendors expanding product capabilities to deliver such a solution.

For more information on process safety management, read the recent Verdantix report ‘Digital Technologies Close The Gap Between Assets And Workers To Enable Real-Time Risk Management

OPEX Bowtie Risk Models Evolve To Become The Nucleus Of Modern Process Safety Management Software Verdantix Blog

Joe Osborne

Analyst, Verdantix

Joe is an Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda focuses on covering industrial risk management technologies and the use of Digital Twins and UAVs for asset management. Joe joined Verdantix shortly after being awarded his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bristol.