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  1. Introduction Bow-tie diagrams are powerful risk management tools that are clear, simple and visually describe the dynamics of a major incident. This tool can be used in all industries and sectors. What is a bowtie? A bow-tie diagram summarises the risks associated with a particular hazard in a pictorial form. It gets its name from the bowtie shape of the diagram, which separates proactive and reactive risk management. The starting point is to map out the incident using a hazard and the ‘top event’, or point at which the hazard becomes active. An example is shown in the
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  2. There are two main approaches to the management of (safety) risk. These are: Managing risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). That is, reduction of risk levels until they are below target risk criteria and are therefore ‘tolerable’ or ‘acceptable’. If risk levels for identified hazards are determined to exceed target risk criteria then risk treatments are put in place until target risk criteria are met. At this point the risk has been reduced as low as reasonably practicable. Target risk criteria are identified on a subjective basis and generally differ between organisations
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