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Working with standards

Today’s development teams are challenged by the need to conform to a variety of standards. Stemming from the need to increase the functional safety of applications a variety of standards have been defined and need to be taken into consideration in development projects. This applies not only to safety critical applications, but more and more parts of the standards become state-of-the art and thus must be taken into consideration for all kinds of development projects.

The standard IEC 61508 is the most fundamental standard for functional safety and is applicable to all kinds of applications. A multitude of standards for different industries have been derived from the IEC 61508. Herein functional safety is defined as: “part of the overall safety relating to the EUC (Equipment Under Control) and the EUC control system which depends on the correct functioning of the electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems, other technology safety-related systems and external risk reduction facilities.”

Central to the standards is the concept of risk and safety function. The risk is a function of frequency (or likelihood) of the hazardous event and the event consequence severity. The risk is reduced to a tolerable level by applying safety functions which may consist of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic and/or other technologies. While other technologies may be employed in reducing the risk, only those safety functions relying on electrical/electronic/programmable electronic systems are covered by the detailed requirements of IEC 61508.

Important Standards Overview

IEC 61508 (7 parts)all industries
IEC 61511 (3 parts)process industry sector such as chemical, pharmaceutical, refineries and power
IEC 62061 (1 part) and ISO 13849 (2 parts)machinery
IEC 61513, IEC 62138, IEC 60880nuclear power
EN 50156-1electrical equipment for furnaces and ancillary equipment
DIN EN 50126, DIN EN 50128, DIN EN 50129railway applications
ISO 25119 (ISO TC23 SC19, 4 parts)tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry
ISO 26262 (ISO TC22 SC3, 10 parts)road vehicles
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