Managing Catastrophic Risk with THESIS BowTie Solution
See how we helped a British multinational automotive and aerospace systems engineering company implement a BowTie Risk Management Software solution for its multiple global sites to reduce workplace safety hazards.
Develop global Process Safety Management and BowTie Risk Management Training framework for multiple sites in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific regions
Implement a global, internet-based THESIS BowTie software application so that each site could develop their own bowties within the global structure
GKN plc is a UK-based global engineering company, which designs, manufactures and services aerospace and automotive systems and components for original equipment manufacturers around the world. The company operates in nominally low hazard environments, but even these can contain areas with high hazard material which, if not managed, could lead to an increase in potentially catastrophic risks. To mitigate risk and improve safety culture, GKN has implemented an internal workplace safety campaign. The program focuses on behavioral safety issues and has contributed to a reduction in accident frequency rate (lost-time accidents per 1,000 employees per year) from 2.4 in 2011 to 0.98 in 2016. As GKN continues to improve safety performance, the company sought to develop systems that would reduce process safety risks (high hazard, low frequency but with potentially catastrophic consequences). The goal was to help GKN's global sites identify major accident scenarios and the barriers that they have installed to minimize risk. This effort would then empower individuals in the organization to own and manage these risks and so have the personal motivation to proactively and adequately maintain the barriers preventing hazards that could result in catastrophic consequences.
ABS Group was selected as a risk management advisor to assist GKN with implementing bowtie risk assessments across multiple sites by applying ABS Group's proprietary THESIS BowTie Risk Management Software solution.
- Need for increased cultural emphasis on process safety
- Reduce complacency regarding process hazards
Desirefor immediate implementation of bowtie training solution
- Need to identify risk management software solution to document and demonstrate the results of risk assessments across multiple global sites
To increase awareness of process safety risks throughout the entire global company of 55,000 employees in 30 countries, a robust process safety
ABS Group had the appropriate experience required to assist GKN with its culture change approach. In addition, our Risk Management services offered a BowTie software package that could be tailored to the client's specific needs. A combination of dedicated training courses and BowTie development sessions was developed and supported using THESIS Enterprise, which resides on a central server with internet access to all of GKN's global operating sites.
Customize Fit-for-purpose Training Course
To address the need for a custom training course, our risk management engineers modified ABS Group's standard Risk Assessment Using BowTies training course to make it fit-for-purpose to meet GKN's needs while also integrating it within the company's existing Enterprise Risk Management process. We delivered the course in dedicated 3-day training sessions held in the U.S., Europe
Facilitate Bowtie Development Sessions
These sessions were held on different GKN sites, often as follow-on sessions to the training course. The aim of the sessions was to assist site managers with developing bowtie assessments for some of the hazards present on site. The audience for the bowtie development and facilitation sessions consisted of the operators who might be injured, together with maintenance and the site safety people (the focal points responsible for maintaining the bowties), if the management of these hazards fails and a major accident occurs.
ABS Group developed a proven and effective approach by providing a short session introducing the bowtie concept as well as a field visit to observe the equipment containing the hazard and the barriers that manage it. We then returned to the meeting room, developed an initial bowtie on paper and, when these became too detailed, transitioned the design of the bowtie into the software that a scribe had drawn in parallel to the paper version. We further developed the barrier degradation factors and the safeguards to prevent these factors from degrading barrier functionality and effectiveness in the software application THESIS Enterprise, which remains as the permanent documentation of the work performed.
We followed this approach on GKN sites based in the U.S., the Netherlands, UK,
ABS Group's THESIS BowTie Risk Management Software solution introduced the Company to a new way of looking at the relationship between hazard and risk. Typically, the manufacturing engineering discipline focuses on the day-to-day safety issues and rarely on the likelihood of a catastrophic event. GKN recognized that this might be a possibility given the nature of some of its asset-intensive businesses, and thus began managing this risk more proactively at some of its high-risk sites using bowtie assessments to monitor the potential for major accidents.
Our solution enabled the client to raise awareness within the organization as to how hazards can become potentially catastrophic risks and how to assess whether the controls in place provided adequate protection. Additionally, we helped the client identify opportunities to improve/mitigate such risks and educated each level of the organization so teams can continue to evaluate risk effectively across the company's global sites. GKN has embedded the bowtie way of thinking using our training resources for more than 200 employees who are now addressing hazards using the Bowtie method to evaluate whether these hazards are controlled and/or mitigated.
"This is only a start; we will do more. We have a good base, and we will dig deeper, look harder and reduce the risk." – Martin Smith, Director of Health, Safety and Environment at GKN