Proof Testing … A key performance indicator for designers and end users of Safety Instrumented Systems

ESCs seminar "IEC61508 & IEC61511 compliance – how does it affect you"

Proof Testing… A key performance indicator for designers and end users of Safety Instrumented Systems

White paper by Ron Bell and David Green: Proof Testing… A key performance indicator for designers and end users of Safety Instrumented Systems.

Proof Testing… A key performance indicator for designers and end users of Safety Instrumented Systems

Proof Testing is a key performance indicator with respect to the achievement of functional safety and the paper sets out a structured approach to the development of Proof Test Procedures for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs) with particular focus on the process sector.

The paper sets out a five Stage process to the development of robust Proof Test Procedures to ensure a systematic and auditable approach is adopted to their development and implementation. This requires taking into account both the technical requirements of Proof Testing and the competence requirements of those having responsibilities for undertaking the Proof Tests. This Staged approach has been developed based on two decades of operational experience by the principal author, within top tier Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) establishments within the UK, and subsequent consultancy work within multiple industry sectors.

The paper will cover:

  • The fundamentals of Proof Testing and how Proof Testing can be implemented in practice to ensure that requirements specified in IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 are met
  • The details required for Proof Testing including procedures, frequencies, types of test that can be undertaken and the importance of recording and reviewing the data gained from the results
  • The operational challenges to optimise Proof Testing taking into account business interruption
  • Imperfect Proof Testing versus Perfect Proof Testing and optimisation of overhaul periods

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