While significant amounts of time and money are expended every year to improve operational safety in manufacturing facilities, the reality is that fatalities, injuries, and economic losses continue to occur at an alarming rate. New stories and statistics regarding loss of life, property damage, and government fines highlight the problem.
One of the best defenses against these losses is a properly designed and implemented safety instrumented system (SIS). The release of the IEC 61508 and S84 / IEC 61511 standards, generally accepted “good engineering” practices, have been established for the design and implementation of SIS’s. These revised standards detail the Safety Lifecycle, which stipulates the steps to be followed and provides informative examples of the activity to be accomplished in each phase. When applied properly and completely, the use of these standards will offer increased functional safety resulting in reduced risk.
An advantage of these standards is that they are issued by the IEC (International Electro technical Commission) which is an international standards body. As a result many countries have replaced their own national standards and adopted these standards. This provides significant operating leverage for chemical and petrochemical companies that are operating in multiple countries. These global standards allow them to utilize a single standard across their organization.
Benefits of a single standard quickly add up. Evaluating operations against a single, worldwide standard results in more consistent safety reviews and remediation plans. Designing and implementing all SIS’s to a single, worldwide standard, results in costs savings ranging from engineering costs, product utilization and systems life cycle support costs. Training an organization to a single, worldwide standard, allows project teams to be created into subject matter experts anywhere in the world.
To gauge the degree of adoption and implementation of the S84 / IEC 61511 standards, exida conducted an end user survey project.