A wrench and hammer


  1. Nonprofits have life cycles and do different types of work. When it comes to safety and health, each organization is in a different place. An organization needs to find a way to understand the risk issues specific to their work.
  2. The Risk Bow Tie offers a way to visualize the causes and outcomes of a “risk event,” or something that may affect your organization either positively or negatively.
  3. An organization can ensure processes are successfully implemented by looking for potential gaps in their safety management system.
  4. Action mapping explores four barriers – environment, tools, knowledge/skills, and emotions – that may prevent people from achieving expected results and helps generate solutions to reduce the impact of barriers.


As you work to find solutions for your nonprofit, reflect on the following questions.

  • Which of the tools covered in the chapter would be most appropriate for your organization and why? When using the tool, who in the organization should be involved?
  • Action Mapping invites you to expand how your organization gets feedback to collect better and more complete information. How do you get the information you have now? How might you expand your organization’s process to gather feedback that deepens what you currently know?
    A person reading a book with a lightbulb over their head, like they have an idea.


    • Introduce the idea of the Risk Bow Tie to your nonprofit’s board. At a board meeting, invite board members to take a “risk event” and work through the exercise to determine the cause and outcomes. Imagine a series of scenarios tied to the risk event and how things could play out. This type of exercise deepens your board’s connection to safety and health work.
    • Use your safety committee or safety meeting agenda to build a strategy tied to each of the key elements listed with the Safety Management System Gap Analysis chart. You may identify an overall goal for each strategy. When discussing the goal, describe what success looks like and feels like, any specific actions to take, and who is involved.
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