Barrier Failure Analysis (BFA)

Many companies move to a risk-based safety management system in order to achieve operational excellence and demonstrate compliance with legal requirements and industry’s best practices. Learning from incidents is an essential element of this. BFA (Barrier Failure Analysis) is a powerful, yet easy to understand and to communicate methodology to analyze incidents and identify the barriers – technical or human – that failed or were otherwise ineffective. The causality chain of these failures is investigated and categorized from the operation to the management system levels. Only when issues at all levels are resolved the organization can really learn from failures.

BFA is implemented in the IncidentXP software tool, part of the BowTieXP suite. This allows seamless scenario exchange between the results of BowTie risk analyses and real-world incidents. The software also consolidates incident investigation results so that the organization can easily monitor and manage its incident prevention efforts on an aggregate level.

BFA is identical to the BSCAT (Barrier-Based Systematic Causal Analysis Technique), with the exception of the BSCAT causation lists.

Day 1

  • Safety Management and Incident Investigation
  • General investigation skills
  • Determining the timelines of events
  • Analysis of events and barriers

Day 2

  • Establishing the causal paths of failed, missing and unreliable barriers
  • Categorizing causes
  • Defining effective recommendations
  • Aggregating and trending of multiple investigation results
  • Integrating risk analysis and incident investigation using the BowTieXP & InvestigatorXP software
  • Conclusions and wrap-up