Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bow-Tie. No, we're not going to dinner.

Salaam friends.

I'd like to share what we had learnt at work last week - part of our Learning From Incidents monthly series.  But instead of focusing on a particular incident, this month we looked back to basics - How do we prevent incidents from happening, and if they do happen, how do we prevent them from getting worst.

We were introduced to a tool called Bow-Tie. Not to put on our tuxedo though :-)   Normally Bow-Tie is used by companies involved with high risks activities to manage their Major Accident Hazards (MAH), where occurrence could likely result in multiple fatalities, significant assets loss, serious environmental issues and really affect your company's reputation.

Basic Bow Tie Diagram
The blue box is the incident we are trying to avoid from happening - the red box on the left is the threat that could cause the incident to happen and the green box on the left is the barrier that we need to beef up to ensure the incident doesn't occur.  But if it does occur, we need to prevent it from getting worst (red box on the right), so we have to make sure the green box on the right is effective.

Bow-Tie Diagram - in simpler terms
Same thing, but in much simpler terms to help any layman like you and me.
Example of Prevention (Left Side)
We used the example of road accident as the thing that can go wrong. What could cause it to go wrong, well one of it could be road conditions.  The barriers can be endless but we picked up three main ones.  For example we have to ensure the tires are in great condition, we follow the speed limit and we are trained to drive safely. If we have 'holes' in these barriers e.g. tires are bald, we speed and are not competent, the likelihood of an accident is high or... inevitable.

Example of Recovery (right hand side)
OK... the incident actually happened, but it could get worst.  In this example, Na'uzubillah (I seek protection from Allah), it could result in death.  How we can avoid it from getting worst is to make sure the barriers actually work: airbags, seat belts and cars with good great crumple zones

The presenter, a scouser with great sense of humor offered an example where the top event is "achieving just average year end appraisal".  Now, working backwards, what can we do to make sure it won't happen? Deliver more than target, be visible, more structured in our work? But when it does happen, average appraisal = lower salary increment / lower bonus and the worst that could happen is the iPad or the iPhone that we've dreamed of purchasing hedged against the potential bonus, may remain a dream. How do we prepare for that? Plan B perhaps?... that Nokia still looks useful and it's only a tenth the price of an iPhone.....

You can use whatever top event you'd like, and it can help prepare you for the worst OR better still, avoid them from happening by strengthening your barriers. Practice makes perfect. I am still working on it myself.

I hope this is of help.  And Mike S, I hope your google search for bowtie will lead you here :-)


Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Assalaamu 'alaikum

I am currently taking a breather after an exhaustive 3 day of long hours - a day of preparations for 2 major events that took place yesterday and today.  I should hit the sack by now having only slept for 10 hours.....combined in the last 3 days.

Anyway, a quick one on Friendship, that I feel like I want to share. (pssst, I know my kids loved to read the blog, especially Iman hence why I wrote this here :-)

On Monday, to prepare for the event on Tuesday, I have to stand in for our MD to personally discuss the event with our Guest of Honour, a Government Minister for 8 years now.

After the formalities, I recalled stories from my dad that he knew the Minister from their studying years in the UK in the 60's and I suggested to the Minister that he might know who my dad is.  When I mentioned my dad's name, the Minister was so excited he told the PA to arrange a visit to see his old friend, since they would be around the area.  The Minister told me he hadn't met my dad for maybe 10 years.

I called my dad immediately when I left the MInister's office to let him know of the plan.  Early this morning, I received a call from my dad who sounded so excited, letting me know that the minister spent an hour at my dad's place.  An hour of a Minister's time is precious, and I am so happy to bring joy to my dad.

Allah teaches us in mysterious ways.  Here, I learned that friendship knows no boundaries:

No matter how high you go, never forget your comrades and whenever an opportunity comes to meet your buddies, grasp it and make full use of the time.


Now I need to sleep, and I'll sign off now.

Salaam friends, wherever you are.  May Allah grants me opportunity to meet every one of you.

Jimi @ Pg Hj Azmi Razak

Monday, 9 January 2012

Happy New Year? Alhamdulillah, Happy New Year indeed.

Assalamu 'Alaikum

In the office last Friday, the 6th day of 2012, I still wished people happy new year and they reciprocated my wishes with excitement. Taking the cue from that, I still think it is not too late to wish the same to you, so  Happy New Year to you all.

Yes, 2012 is just another year to some, but it means a lot to others who wanted to start with a clean sheet and all that, new resolutions, targets, goals, you name it. I wish you Allah's blessings and may you achieve your new goals for 2012.

We had a great closing of 2011. On the New Year's eve we hosted my mother in law's 66th birthday. My bro & sis in laws from Bandar stayed over and our kids enjoyed having their cousins around. We moved the fusbol table to the main entrance and let the kids (and a few adults :P) enjoy.

Our new year however did not start well.  On the first public holiday of 2012, I was called in to the office to help the communication team with their press conference following a minor oilspill.  After four hours away, I made up to the family by taking them out to the beach to see and also show them what had happened and then grabbed dinner.  Alhamdulillah the beach was already cleared by the time we went there, but the kids simply enjoyed being at the beach including taking pics with one of the oil spill response transport.

The above photos were taken from The Borneo Bulletin. 
The bottom picture showed the volunteers from Brunei Shell's 
business partners helping out with the cleanup

Iman, Aaeeshah (hidden) and Muhammad with one of the
 Oil Spill Response equipment, sort of special version ATV 
to help with pulling the oil booms and other equipment

Our company men, doing their regular inspection to ensure
 no more spill made shore after the cleanup. 

The next day, school reopened and Alhamdulillah kids were alright, returning to their normal routine without much fanfare.  Muhammad is now in Year 6 preparing for his PSR (Primary Certificate of Education). Iman got promoted to Year 3 and Aaesshah is no longer in kindy, now in Year 1.

I was however concerned that the school now requires every student to use the school's exercise book (with the school logo).  Nonetheless, I bought the exercise books from the school for my three children for nearly $55, although I felt I could save $15 or even $20 if I were to buy them from the shops.   It's not much, yes but for those families who earn just enough to get by, it would be a burden.  After all, an exercise book is the an exercise book, right?  The logo doesn't make a difference at all, so why bother? I pick my battles, so I relented in this case.

On a different light and a cheery one at that, we welcomed the arrival of my new nephew Awangku Ariff Rayyan bin Pengiran Azirul Ridzuan, a baby boy to my younger brother and his wife born at 5.28am on Sunday morning, 8th January.  Alhamdulillah Rayyan looked healthy, and weighed 3.7kg.  We were up early on a Sunday for the hour long drive to see Rayyan, who was sound asleep all the while we were there and was not at all bothered with the attention. He even posed for us!

Baby Rayyan, sound asleep and thinking :-)

Abang Muhammad, Kaka Aaeeshah, Ngangah Girl and Kaka Iman.
 Ngangah Haji behind the camera :-)

Till next time, Happy New Year to all. Be safe always.

Mr G

ps - on the way home from seeing Rayyan, we saw two cars involved in an accident. I believed it was caused by a car making a U-turn (legal) but not anticipating the speed of the oncoming car, he got hit at the back and swerved.   The driver felt pain on his back so we told him to sit tight and wait for emergency services once we've confirmed there was no bleeding.  The other driver was ok, his car badly damaged at the front and he was thankful that he wore his safety belt.  2 points to note here: Situational awareness and using the safety equipment.  If you are on top of that, InsyaAllah things should be alright.