Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 29–40 | Cite as

Hazard-Based Design of the Bow-Tie Method to Prevent and Mitigate Mine Accidents

  • Cong Zhang
  • Yixin Wei
  • Zhongxue Li
  • Yiqing ZhaoEmail author
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


The mining trade involves many complicated and interrelated variables—its complex environment, abundant machinery and a plethora of other contributors to accidents. In both developed and developing countries, mining accidents have caused many casualties. However, a universal risk assessment method for mining accidents is has not yet been implemented. Among risk assessment methods, the bow-tie has been used in different industry processes and systems and has proven effective. In this paper, the bow-tie model is utilized to investigate the relationship among mining accident risks, safety measures and possible consequences. The paper illustrates the hazards of mining accidents using US mine accident data. It also shows how the consequences of mine accidents are summarized by laws and regulations of different countries. This paper also introduces a series safety measures from Chinese safety standards and how the safety measures prevent and mitigate risks. At the end of the paper, a case of mine water inrush is applied using the bow-tie approach. The results show that the method is effective for analyzing mine safety.


Bow-tie method Mine accident Hazards Safety measures Water inrush 


  1. 1.
    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mining Deaths, Respirable Dust Samples Drop to Historic Lows in FY 2016 (2016). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  2. 2.
    Mine Safety and Health Administration, MSHA Handbook Series-Accident/Illness Investigations Procedures. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  3. 3.
    State Administration of Work Safety, The Report of Non-coal Safety Production Important Work Development in the First Half of 2016 (2016). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  4. 4.
    State Administration of Work Safety. (2016). Safety Analysis and Accident Report. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  5. 5.
    J.A. Botin, F. Valenzuela, R. Guzman, C. Monreal, A methodology for the management of risk related to uncertainty on the grade of the ore resources. Int. J. Min. Reclam. Environ. 29(1), 19–32 (2015). doi: 10.1080/17480930.2013.852824 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    I.L. Cioca, R.I. Moraru, Explosion and/or fire risk assessment methodology: a common approach, structured for underground coalmine environments/Metoda szacowania ryzyka wybuchu i pożarów: podejście ogólne, dostosowane do środowiska kopalni podziemnej. Arch. Min. Sci. 57(1), 53–60 (2012). doi: 10.2478/v10267-012-0004-7 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. Badri, The challenge of integrating OHS into industrial project risk management: proposal of a methodological approach to guide future research (case of mining projects in Quebec, Canada). Minerals 5(2), 314–334 (2015). doi: 10.3390/min5020314 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Y.E. Saud, K.C. Israni, J. Goddard, Bow-tie diagrams in downstream hazard identification and risk assessment. Process Saf. Prog. 33(1), 26–35 (2014). doi: 10.1002/prs.11576 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Risk Management Principles and Guidelines (ISO 31000), [Standard], Va.: ISO (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Risk Management Techniques (IEC/ISO 31010). [Standard], Va.: ISO (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The application of major hazard risk assessment (MHRA) to eliminate multiple fatality occurrences in the US minerals industry (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    State Administration of Work Safety, Safety Assessment, vol. II (Metallurgical Industry Press, Beijing, 2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Jim, G. Derek, National Minerals Industry Safety and Health Risk Assessment Guideline. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  14. 14.
    L.W.D. Cullen, The public inquiry into the piper alpha disaster. Drilling Contractor 49(4) (1993)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    P.D. Bentley, D.L. Mundhenk, M.G. Jones, G. de Jong, Development and implementation of an HSE management system in exploration and production companies. J. Petrol. Technol. 47(01), 54–60 (1995). doi: 10.2118/27075-PA CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    M.J. Primrose, P.D. Bentley, G.C. van der Graaf, Sykes RM, The HSE management system in practice-implementation, in SPE Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Conference, Louisiana (1996). doi: 10.2118/35826-MS
  17. 17.
    M.J. Primrose, P.D. Bentley, G.C. van der Graaf, Thesis-keeping the management system “live” and reaching the workforce, in SPE Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Conference, Louisiana (1996). doi: 10.2118/36034-MS
  18. 18.
    A.D. Gower-Jones, G.C. van der Graaf and D.J. Milne, Application of hazard and effects management tools and links to the HSE case, in SPE Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Conference, Louisiana (1996). doi: 10.2118/36031-MS
  19. 19.
    UK Health and Safety Executive, Guidance on Risk Assessment for Offshore Installations (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Petroleum and natural gas industries—Offshore production installations—Guidelines on tools and techniques for hazard identification and risk assessment (ISO 17776:2000). [Standard], VA.:ISO (2000)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    I. Maragakis, S. Clark, M. Piers et al., Guidance on hazard identification. Safety Management System and Safety Culture Working Group (SMSWG), pp. 6–8 (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    R. Burgess-Limerick, T. Horberry, L. Steiner, Bow-tie analysis of a fatal underground coal mine collision. Ergon. Aust. 10(2), 1–5 (2014)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    University of Queensland, Australian Coal Industry Initiative. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  24. 24.
    V. De Dianous, C. Fiévez, ARAMIS project: A more explicit demonstration of risk control through the use of bow–tie diagrams and the evaluation of safety barrier performance. J. Hazard. Mater. 130(3), 220–233 (2006). doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2005.07.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    J. Reason, Managing the risks of organizational accidents (Taylor & Francis, New York, 2016), pp. 1–2Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, Accident Injuries Data Set. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from
  27. 27.
    Standardization Administration of the People`s Republic of China, The classification for casualty accidents of enterprise staff and workers. [Standard] (1987)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    S.K. Katti, A.V. Rao, Handbook of the Poisson distribution. Technimetrics 10(2), 412–412 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Directive 2012/18/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directive 96/82/EC Text with EEA relevance. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from Accessed October 1 2016
  30. 30.
    China State Council, Regulations on the Reporting, Investigation and Disposition of Work Safety Accidents (2007)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lu An Group, The Investigation Decision of 7.20 Support Tilting Accident in Changxing Mine Company,” by Lu An Group of the Communist Party of China, Lu An Group, Houbao Town, Xiangheng County, Changzhi City, Shanxi Province, China, Pa046200 (2005)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    China Work Safety Committee of the State Council, Changxing Mine “720” Roof Accident Investigation Report of Lu An Group in Tuanpu Country (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yixin Wei
    • 1
  • Zhongxue Li
    • 1
  • Yiqing Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil and Resources EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of EngineeringUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations