Safety-barrier diagrams as a safety management tool

Nijs Jan Duijm

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Safety-barrier diagrams and “bow-tie” diagrams have become popular methods in risk analysis and safety management. This paper describes the syntax and principles for constructing consistent and valid safety-barrier diagrams. The latter's relation to other methods such as fault trees and Bayesian Networks is discussed. Important advantages of safety-barrier diagrams as compared to other graphical risk-analysis methods are, firstly, the relative simplicity that supports communication with non-expert stakeholders and, secondly, the focus on deliberately inserted safety systems that supports the management and maintenance of these systems. Safety-barrier diagrams provide a useful framework for an electronic data structure that integrates information from risk analysis with operational safety management.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalReliability Engineering & System Safety
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)332-341
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Safety management
    • Safety barriers
    • Risk analysis
    • Safety-barrier diagrams


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