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Functional Safety

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non-technical version

Following several years of experience working in manufacturing roles in the chemical industry, my interests nowadays lie in the area of Functional safety.” This means active, automatic safety systems designed to prevent harm in the event of an upset or emergency. It is often referred to in the industry as “SIL” (which is actually a reliability concept forming part of the overall field of functional safety).

 

Much of my work is related to the implementation of IEC 61508, the international standard covering the design and operation of functional safety systems. This is an umbrella standard, written in general terms, and intended to be adapted to the needs of specific industries. The corresponding standard for the process industries is IEC 61511.

 

I work for exida, an international consultancy specializing in functional safety. You can find lots of resources on exida's website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I do

 

 

Safety Analysis

 

Training and preparation for those taking the CFSE exam

 

Writing: See my article in the May 2011 edition of Control Engineering Asia

 

Risk analysis: HAZOP, LOPA, SIL selection

 

Functional safety design: SIL verification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alarm Management

 

Badly designed or ill-maintained emergency alarm systems are now recognized as a major hindrance to safe operation of today's complex industrial plants. I specialize in the analysis of chemical process alarm systems, an activity known as alarm rationalization.