Success in the face of uncertainty: human resilience and the accident risk bow-tie (SAFERA framework project)

    Project Details


    The research addresses success rather than failure and the topics of resilience, improving management of safety and whether resilience concepts can be integrated into classical bow-tie approaches. The Dutch institute RIVM has an interest in scenario-based methods using their bow-tie structured accident analysis tool Storybuilder™. The bow-tie is a linear model with a focus on the negative, the already occurred accidents. Resilience modelling is a mirror of this in being proactive rather than reactive in the face of unanticipated scenarios. The research aims to unite the strong points of both sides, focusing on the mental models of people delivering success in handling uncertainty.
    A resilience questionnaire, focused on how people mentally model the changing risk environment, will be developed for interviewing people who have to deal with high risk control problems such as mountain climbing, tactical military training, management of major hazard (petro)chemical installations and dangerous maintenance tasks. The result will be information on the mental characteristics of people that manage high risk environments resiliently, providing inspiring case studies in this regard across sectors, which will help determine what organisations should do to stimulate resilience within their own human capital. Further, the mental modelling work will be incorporated in the publically available Storybuilder™ bow-tie tool . Structural and reliability modelling will be done to see how the bow-tie, a well-known risk management tool, can be improved for incorporating the resilience factor such that qualitative and quantitative bow-tie outputs will encompass the success factor rather than failure. The model will finally be filled with a demonstration set of accident scenarios to show how negative events can be translated into a showcase of positive lessons.
    The outcomes will benefit current users of bow-tie modelling by providing lessons learned on resilience which will be offered to sector organisations of participating businesses as well as organised learning opportunities provided through a website, a webinars and a workshop.
    DTU will contribute to bow-tie modelling, formalisation of the mental modelling within the framework of bow-tie modelling, Furthermore, DTU will contribute with knowledge and experience of how to optimise the use of research in the practical implementation in industry across all the main processes of the project and by writing the Manual and one of the articles. DTU will assist by providing access to DTU tools/knowledge associated with barrier success modelling.
    This project is co-ordinated by White Queen BV, Netherlands.
    Effective start/end date01/05/201401/02/2015


    • Risk
    • Safety
    • Resilience
    • Learning