Functional safety assessment

Several new functional safety standards require an independent safety assessment to be carried out in parallel with the development of components or systems. SP can act as an independent party for such assessments in development projects. We are, for example, accredited by SWEDAC for performing functional safety assessments in accordance with IEC 61508.
New standards

Several new standards that have been developed in the field of functional safety emphasise the importance of including an independent party in the product development process.  This is included in (for example) the following standards:

  • IEC 61508 ”Functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic safety-critical systems”
  • IEC 61511 ” Functional safety:  Safety-instrumented systems for the process industry sector”
  • IEC 62061 ” Safety of machinery – Functional safety of safety-related electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems”

The idea behind this is that someone who is not deeply involved in the development work should be able to put forward views and comments, and assess how well the requirements described in the standards have been fulfilled. 

The product's entire life cycle

These new functional safety standards cover a product's life cycle, from the initial concept until the product has been fully developed.  Support from an independent party is important through all these phases, such as risk analysis, performance specification, hardware and software design and verification/validation.

Within the company or by an independent organisation?

It is the selected SIL (Safety Integrity Level) for the safety function that decides whether the independent safety assessment can be carried out within the company or must be performed by an independent third party, such as SP.  See Table 5 in IEC 61508-1.

Benefits of an independent organisation

Even in cases where the standard does not directly require assessment by an independent organisation, it can be worth while to do so in terms of the resulting marketing or sales benefits, through being able to point out that an external expert party has summarised its views in an independent report or certificate.  
 

 Safety Integrity Level
(1 = lowest, 4 = highest)
SIL 1
 
SIL 2
 
SIL 3
 
SIL 4

 

Independent person

HR

HR

NR

NR

Independent department

-

HR

HR

NR

Independent organisation 

-

-

HR

HR

HR = Highly Recommended
NR = Not Recommended

Machine control systems

SP's working areas include the safety of machines and safety in engineering facilities.Read more...

Functional safety

SP can deliver many different services in the field of functional safety. Read more...

Embedded systems

SP provides several services for electronic hardware for use in safety-critical embedded systems. Read more...

Related Information

Services

Embedded systemsFunctional safetyInformation SecurityMachine control systemsProcess safety

Technical Areas

Electronics

Documents

Contact Persons

Johan Hedberg

Phone: +46 10 516 50 71

Jan Jacobson

Phone: +46 10 516 56 97

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Box 857, SE-501 15 Borås Phone +46 10-516 50 00, E-mail info@sp.se