Are You Going for Gold in Safety?Thursday, August 16, 2012
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Olympic athletes don’t wake up one day and decide to compete in the Olympics. They don’t arrive at the games by chance or coincidence. Their journey starts long before the games begin. They are often influenced and inspired by watching others or by their own interests. They may begin by playing the game to see how good they are. And if their dream is to compete at the highest levels of their sport, they begin the arduous preparation by learning the rules, training with experts, and practicing. Only then will they have a chance to win gold.
The path to functional safety certification with IEC 61508 is not so different from the athlete’s path to the Olympic games. The journey begins by having the interest to produce a product that is within the capability of the organization and meets the needs of the safety community. One must study and adhere to the rules of IEC 61508. The skills and competencies for developing a safety-related product must be acquired. If this knowledge base is not present within the organization, the experts should be consulted for training. This makes it possible to identify and understand any gaps between what you currently do and what you should do. Enhance your processes to align with the IEC 61508 requirements. Then it’s time to put that knowledge to work by developing the products that your customers want.
Unlike the Olympic games, where there is only one winner for each event, everyone in the functional safety community has the opportunity to win the gold by certifying their products. But, similar to the Olympic athlete, it requires discipline, attention to detail, and practice to achieve the ultimate goal.