Whether you are building or interpreting a bowtie, the place to
start is with the hazard.
This describes the potential source of harm under consideration. It will often describe a
‘normal’ aspect within the operating environment and sets the context and scope of the bowtie, for
example driving a car on a busy motorway – this is an activity where risks are present.
A hazard can be focused on:
Hazards are often part of normal business activities and not necessarily something that can or
should be eliminated. There is also the possibility to have more than one top event from one hazard
as, for example, there would be a number of risk events associated in driving on a motorway.
The condition, object or activity with the potential of causing injuries to personnel, damage to
equipment or structures, loss of material or reduction of ability to perform a prescribed
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