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Risk Management Using Safety Barriers


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Effective risk management requires a thorough understanding of the accident pathways linking threats to potentially catastrophic consequences and the measures implemented to prevent this happening. Bowtie diagrams provide a simple visualization of the relationships and the barriers preventing the catastrophic consequences. Bowtie diagrams are easy to interpret unlike the complex and/or numerical results from other risk assessment methods (e.g. PHA, QRA, LOPA) in a way that is easier for non-experts, workforce, engineers and managers to understand.

This course progressively builds day-by-day. Day 1 introduces the Barrier Methodology and provides an awareness of its uses by working through the steps involved to identify process safety layers. Day 2 builds practical experience and confidence with hands-on construction of barrier diagrams both on paper and using ABS Group's THESIS BowTie™ software (Attendees will receive a 3-month trial license). The second day also covers Barrier effectiveness, Process Safety Performance Indicators (PSPIs), the use of barrier diagrams in Incident Investigations, incorporating  human factors and an introduction to Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA).


Who Should Attend this course?
  • People who would like to understand whether Barrier Diagrams would add value to their organization

  • People who have been tasked with creating or using Barrier Diagrams

what will i learn in this course?
  • Fundamentals of the Barrier (Bowtie) Methodology

  • How to create effective, succinct, Barrier diagrams that will add benefit to your organisation

  • How to correctly apply the methodology in managing risks and maximise benefits

Duration: 2 Days

Dates & Locations

View our current schedule of virtual or on-site courses at



Day 1: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Introduction to Risk and the concept of barriers in major accidents

  • What is the Safety Barrier Concept?

  • Benefits and uses of Safety Barrier diagrams

  • Construction of Safety Barrier diagrams from Identified Major Accident Hazard Scenarios

  • How to identify threats and estimate consequences

  • Identification of independent and valid barriers

Day 2: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Identification of safety Critical Elements (SCEs)

  • Barrier effectiveness evaluation and linking them to Process Safety Performance Indicators (PSPIs) and the HSE Management System

  • Barrier degradation mechanisms and controls

  • Barrier Diagrams in Incident investigations to identify Causal Factors

  • Practical sessions using THESIS BowTie™

  • HAZOPs to Barrier Diagrams

  • Introduction to LOPA within THESIS linking key threat/consequence pairs

  • Human Factors in Barrier Diagrams


Dr. Mark Manton - Principal Engineer, ABS Consulting

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