Bowtie risk assessments (biorisk bowties) provide excellent communication tools for more complex systems like laboratories, where a multitude of risks is managed in parallel. In particular where the hazards are biological agents that can infect even in small quantities. Biorisk bowties are ideal to illustrate the interdependencies of different controls (protection layers). They can at the same time provide very high-level risk communication as well as support task specific training of technical operatives and can inform quantitative Layer of Protection Analyses (LOPAs). In the management and operation of biocontainment facilities, biorisk bowtie models inform rapid failure analysis as well as strategic safety by design process development and thus help to shape rational management decisions in complex systems.