Abstract

Road transport is one of the biggest risks posed to Oil and Gas operations. There is a lot of time, resources and effort spent on understanding, controlling and managing this risk. The use of the Bowtie methodology has greatly improved the management of the road transport risk. The paper evaluates a number of road transport Bowties using the DDA (Detect, Decide, Act) approach. The analysis shows that due to improper barrier placement within the road transport Bowties there is generally an improper understanding of the true risk that road transport poses to organisations. Systems seen as having many barriers are assumed to be relatively safe. In most instances, however, there is actually only one DDA barrier (compliance with procedures) and all other risk management activities conducted by organisations influence the effectiveness of that procedural barrier. This explains the difficulty organisations experience with further improving road transport outcomes. The failure to properly apply a rigorous standard to barrier placement has created a difference between the perceived and actual risk. This difference can lead to accidents and incidents

This paper demonstrates that many road transport Bowties currently do not accurately show the reality of the situation those Bowties are intended to represent. This will inevitably lead to risk management failures. These failures will stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what barriers are controlling risks on the preventative side of the Bowtie while most controls (e.g. ABS, air-bags) are recovery barriers.

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