Short Note on Barrier Analysis

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a systematic approach that is used to identify root cause of problem. Barrier Analysis is one of type of RCA technique that is required for determining and identifying hazardous effects. It is an effective and efficient tool that provides safety to target through barrier.

It is safety tool that provides shield to the target of an organization or system. It controls hazards by setting barriers to simply prevent failure or problem. In barrier analysis, identification of hazards, targets, and pathways is done through which hazards affect the target.

Then barriers and controls are used to protect and maintain target withing some particular conditions. While performing barrier analysis, some questions that arise in mind are given below –

  • How to identify hazardous sources of energy that might affect the target?
  • What are energy paths through which hazard can affect the target?
  • What are targets that are needed to be protected from hazard?
  • What are safety barriers that are present between hazard and target?
  • How to determine such safety barriers?






Type of Barriers :
In barrier analysis, the following types of barriers can be present –

  • To prevent energy manufacturing or production.
  • To prevent release.
  • To provide strengthen to target.
  • To reduce effect of damage caused.

If there is no barrier between harmful effect or hazardous energy and target, then it led to reducing software quality and shows negative impact on target whereas if barrier is present between hazard and target, then targets are safe and prevented from hazard.


Barrier Analysis Worksheet :
Barrier analysis is usually carried out using worksheet or any other different form simply to provide documentation, structure, etc. Data is presented in specific format because data is one important thing that is needed to be maintained for future analysis also. Following are some information or data that should be included in the worksheet –

  • Some hazardous and harmful effect that is present in the system.
  • Target can be anything like person, product, process, etc. and are needed to be protected from hazards.
  • Barrier that is needed to place in between target and barrier to prevent the target from harmful effects.
  • Barrier that is already placed in between target and barrier to control energy sources simply to prevent targets.
  • Overall identified risk.

Points to Remember :
There are several points that are needed to be considered while performing barrier analysis to reduce the problem as given below –

  • One should try to determine overall sources of energy that might be present in the system.
  • One should also evaluate and analyze cascading outcome i.e. harmful and negative outcome sources of energy.
  • One should understand and know about all energy source paths through which hazard can affect the target.
  • Entire system should be analyzed and considered, not only energy paths.

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