Many believe Safety Integrity is all about component failure rates and complex calculations of probability of failure on demand. However, there are many ways to improve process safety without using a calculator, as this article explains.
International safety standards, IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, were developed as a direct result of several industrial process accidents. Applying the safety lifecycle approach described in IEC 61511 significantly reduces the likelihood of safety system failure.
Process operators face competing demands to maintain process safety, while at the same time meeting production targets. By June of this year (2015) all European Union Member States must implement the Seveso III directive into their own laws; changes from Seveso II stricter standards for inspections by government agencies and more effective enforcement of the rules for managing safety.
Inspectors look for evidence of good practice in process safety, with reference to IEC 61511 as the benchmark. Many experienced operators of hazardous process plants already manage safety to some extent. However, IEC 61511 calls for structure and planning, to ensure that nothing goes un-checked, and records should show that plans were followed and any resulting corrective actions completed. Producing documents to show functional safety is well-managed can be challenging, when the inspector calls. Continue Reading ▶