Do you carry out your functional safety management effectively?

What is Functional Safety Management (FSM)?

Functional Safety Management (FSM) is the process which defines how the safety related systems / safety instrumented systems are managed for your organisation.

The IEC standards (IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 / IEC 62061) define the operational period of the function as a safety lifecycle.

The Functional Safety Management covers the whole safety lifecycle from the initial concept through to the decommissioning of the function.

What does it cover?

There are many discussions currently on-going on LinkedIn with regards to what is the most important aspect of the IEC standards (IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 / IEC 62061). There are multiple areas which are important but one of the main areas to ensure that you have correct is Functional Safety Management.

 Many people understand the requirement to establish a SIL level and complete SIL verification. This addresses RANDOM hardware failure reliability and redundancy requirements only. FSM needs to be addressed to cover systematic failures. Indeed, systematic failures are a far higher contributor to major accidents than those random in nature. See HSE’s excellent document Out of Control:

Functional Safety Management - ESCs David Green discusses What is Functional Safety Management and does it apply to your facility under IEC standards (IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 / IEC 62061)

Your FSM procedures should define how you effectively manage your functions throughout the full safety lifecycle. Topics include (not exhaustive list):

  • Target Risk Parameters;
  • Defined methodologies for SIL determination (‘the rules’);
  • Defined methodologies for the SIL achievement calculations (‘verification’);
  • How changes are managed;
  • What documents need to be produced and when;
  • Competence requirements for anyone involved at any point in the safety lifecycle;
  • Audit requirements and schedules.

Does it apply to me?

If you have any Safety Related Control Systems (SRCS), Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), Instrumented Protective Functions (IPF), Instrument Trip Systems then Functional Safety Management applies to your facility.

The Functional Safety Management procedures and requirements are irrespective of industry sector. The different standards have a slightly different safety lifecycle, however the principles are the same in that they need to be managed effectively.

If you only have activities in part of the safety lifecycle then your systems should cover the phases in which you are involved. The phases in which you aren’t involved should still be reviewed in order that you can ensure that you haven’t missed any requirements on your organisation.

Where do I start?

The start is to review the current arrangements within your facility by conducting an audit of your systems. This review should be against the IEC standard in which you are wanting to follow.

The local procedures are usually what your people will follow and therefore this is likely to be the starting point.

ESC can help in conducting Functional Safety Audits, not only of specific functions but of your systems.