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FAQ - new to functional safety - ESC can help

New to functional safety?
Our FAQs are here to help with your introduction to functional safety.

The standards for functional safety are changing how designers and manufacturers implement safety in processes, systems and product design. The onus on those responsible is to prove that these conform to the requirements of the most recently approved internationally recognised functional safety standards.

Functional safety must be developed and validated through all the relevant phases of the safety lifecycle, from the development of the safety requirements specification through the design phase, operations and maintenance and modification. This is becoming particularly important as an increasing amount of safety critical functions are being implemented and must be addressed.

Input of expert advice at the early stages of a safety lifecycle, including procurement, can not only facilitate the achievement of functional safety but also have a positive impact on project targets – including financial and timescales.

Liability risks are growing and customers expect, when working with suppliers, state of the art methodologies to be applied. Too often underlying standards such as IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 are only partially addressed. This can lead to defects and safety risks for the end user, suppliers and the public which could result in injury or death and/or environmental pollution.

Failure Rate Evaluation

ESC can carry out your Failure Rate Evaluation and report the performance of your system as per the new IEC61511 requirements.

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Proof Test Procedures

ESC offers development of new Proof Test Procedures, as required by IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, or the review and enhancement of existing procedures within companies.

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Risk Management Services

ESC have specialists in carrying out Risk Management Services through a BowTie Analysis of all Major Accident Hazards (MAHs) and Process Risks that a business is faced on a daily basis. In many parts of the world this is a mandatory process, whilst in the UK it is strongly recommended by the HSE

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HAZOP / PHA

ESC offer Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies including Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) and Hazard Identification (HAZID) as part of risk analysis process detailed in IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 (Phase 1)

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SIL Verification

ESC’s consultants provide Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Verification studies, assessing the SIL capability of specified Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs), using methods such as Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Reliability Block Diagrams (RBDs) or Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)

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SIL Determination

ESC are experienced SIL Determination consultants that lead and facilitate studies from calibrated Risk Graphs, to semi-quantitative Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) and fully-quantitative Fault Tree Analysis

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RAM Studies

ESC offer Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) Studies to companies requiring an assessment on their system’s operational performance on their production systems currently in preparation and those that are still in the design phase

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Functional Safety Management

ESC is able to setup Functional Safety Management (FSM) Systems and undertake third party audits on existing procedures and techniques for compliance against recognised international safety standards including IEC 61508, IEC 61511 and IEC 62061

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Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security

IEC 61511 explicitly requires a security risk assessment to be carried out to identify the security vulnerabilities of a SIS. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) / SIS cyber security has become an increasingly important aspect of functional safety since security breaches can compromise functional safety, hence the recent inclusion in international Functional Safety Standards.

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Quantitative Risk Assessment – QRA

Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) is a formalised and systematic tool for quantifying the risks associated with the operation of an engineering process. A QRA is essential to assessing the risk exposure to employees, the environment, company assets and its reputation

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Machinery Safety

ESC's consultants provide machinery safety, risk assessment and The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) assessments for many industries including oil and gas. ESC utilize a software-based semi-quantitative methodology in carrying out risk assessment safety studies

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Certification Services (including Product Certification)

ESC has extensive experience in providing product certification based on the requirements of IEC 61508 (up to and including SIL 3). ESC can determine a device / product / systems’ hardware and systematic SIL capability by means of a qualitative and quantitative assessment

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COMAH Safety Case

ESC has a range of expert compliance consultants available to produce your Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Safety Cases

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Other Consultancy Services

ESC are experts in providing consultancy services for control and high-integrity safety system solutions with extensive design and manufacturing experience in the process and safety industries. These services include project management, feasibility studies, system functional design specification, system solution design etc.

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