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Whether you are building or interpreting a bowtie, the place to start is with the hazard.
This describes the potential source of harm being considered. It often describes a ‘normal’ aspect or activity 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 environment where one is exposed to risks.
A hazard can be focused on:
Hazards are often part of normal business activities or environment and not necessarily something that can or should be terminated or eliminated. There is also the possibility to have more than one top event from one hazard as, for example, there would be several risk events associated with 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 function.
o Tip: It is quite common to find a mix of both threats and hazards in a traditional hazard register however the tendency is usually towards descriptions of threats. Remember that the hazard description is helping to set the scene for a risk assessment that is going to consider multiple threats.
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