Applications of IEC61508

IEC 61508 is applicable to all E/E/PE safety-related systems irrespective of the industry sector or application, including the following systems:

  • emergency shut-down systems,
  • fire and gas systems,
  • turbine control,
  • gas burner management,
  • crane automatic safe-load indicators,
  • guard interlocking and emergency stopping systems for machinery,
  • medical devices,
  • dynamic positioning (control of a ship’s movement when in proximity to an offshore installation),
  • railway signalling systems (including moving block train signalling),
  • variable speed motor drives used to restrict speed as a means of protection,
  • remote monitoring, operation or programming of a network-enabled process plant,
  • an information-based decision support tool where erroneous results affect safety.

Implementation of SIFs may include electro-mechanical relays (i.e. electrical), non-programmable solid-state electronics (i.e. electronic) and programmable electronics. IEC 61508 applies to the entire safety function including sensors, control logic systems and final actuators, considered as a whole.