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Entries tagged with: Steve Gandy

Random versus Systematic Faults: What’s the difference?

Random versus Systematic Faults: What’s the difference?

I saw and responded to a LinkedIn discussion on this very issue, where someone had asked “if I have a misaligned limit switch that fails dangerously, then is it random or systematic? “.  This is an intriguing question because many view human error as being systematic and, whereas, this…

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Safety Requirements Specifications (SRS):  The Good and the Bad

Safety Requirements Specifications (SRS):  The Good and the Bad

The IEC 61511 Standard requires the user to create a Safety Requirements Specification (SRS) for a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) that incorporates all the analysis done during the Risk Assessment, HAZOP/PHA and LOPA reviews.  The SRS falls into two types: an initial conceptual SRS, often referred to as the…

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Still Using Excel to do PFD Calculations?
  • by Steve Gandy, CFSP
  • Monday, April 28, 2014
  • Software

Still Using Excel to do PFD Calculations?

It’s very interesting to me to find that people are still using excel to do PFD calculations.  Whereas this is probably okay for simple single element architectures (i.e. single sensor, single logic solver and single final element), it becomes extremely complicated when dealing with redundant architectures.  Moreover, for performing…

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Ten Years Later
  • by Steve Gandy, CFSP
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2014
  • Certification

Ten Years Later

It’s hard to believe that the IEC61511 standard has been in existence since 2003, and most companies operating in the process, chemical, and refining industries (or any other hazardous process manufacturer) have adopted its practices.  It’s also significant that any plants that were built back then with a…

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The Dos and Don’t of SIS Application Programming

The Dos and Don’t of SIS Application Programming

It’s interesting that the majority of the time when people talk about functional safety, they are usually thinking about hardware: what sensors to use, which logic solver, what actuator, solenoid or valve to select; what voting architecture, etc.  What often gets overlooked, initially, is the application program.

Essentially, when…

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The Importance Of Considering Common Cause with Redundant Systems

The Importance Of Considering Common Cause with Redundant Systems

Common Cause is one of those variables that is not always considered important when it comes to SIL compliance.  And yet, for redundant systems, it can have a significant impact on the PFDavg and Risk Reduction achieved (in Low Demand mode) or PFH (in high or continuous mode).  Most of the…

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The Site Safety Challenge – Do You Follow Good Site Practices?

The Site Safety Challenge – Do You Follow Good Site Practices?

The question of whether companies follow good site safety practices is an interesting one. Firstly, what do we mean by good site safety practices?  I think most companies believe they follow good site safety practices but do they really? Are they really measuring and tracking this?

The basis of having good site…

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What is Competency Anyway?

What is Competency Anyway?

I’ve been following some discussions from one of the online forums regarding competency and it’s clear from the correspondence that the issue of competency is still very subjective.  It made me think about “what is competency?” To me it’s a blend of knowledge and experience and just how well…

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What is Prior Use Justification?

What is Prior Use Justification?

When it comes to IEC61511 and the selection of equipment for use within Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF), there are only two methods that can be used to justify selection: IEC61508 Certified devices for the required SIL or Prior Use Justification.  Just…

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Which FSAs Do I Have to Perform?

Which FSAs Do I Have to Perform?

The new release of IEC61511:2016 has caused some confusion when it comes to the Functional Safety Assessments (FSAs). Which ones are mandatory?

The confusion comes from the wording in the standard and the clarifications in the notes. The relevant clause in the standard 5.2.6.1.4 states:

A FSA team…

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Why Bother With Systematic Issues?

Why Bother With Systematic Issues?

You may be wondering why this question is being asked?  Isn’t it obvious that systematic issues are important and need to be considered?  It may be that some of you reading this blog may not even understand what is meant by systematic issues.  In which case, it may surprise you to know…

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Why Do We Need You?

This was a question posed to me by an engineering contractor the other day.  Although I found the question quite strange, it made me think “okay, why do they need us?”  I suppose there are a few answers:

  1. Regarding the end user perspective, we exist to provide an independent third-party…

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Why Is Functional Safety An Important Piece of Process Safety Management?

Why Is Functional Safety An Important Piece of Process Safety Management?

It’s interesting to note that with the release of the 2016 edition of IEC61511, there’s more emphasis being placed on the need for better functional safety management.  Having taught many courses on Functional Safety over the past few years, I find that most of the…

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Why Proof Test Coverage Is So Important For A SIF to Achieve Its Target SIL?

Why Proof Test Coverage Is So Important For A SIF to Achieve Its Target SIL?

This is a question I often get asked when I’m teaching our FSE100 course on Functional Safety, when we discuss the purpose of Proof Testing and coverage.  It’s amazing how many end users assume perfect proof testing (i.e. 100% coverage), that is capable of finding, all the…

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Why Run-to-Fail Is Not A Good Maintenance Strategy For SIS

Why Run-to-Fail Is Not A Good Maintenance Strategy For SIS

Why Sharing Components Between SIS & BPCS Is Not A Good Idea

Why Sharing Components Between SIS & BPCS Is Not A Good Idea

This is a topic which comes up time and again, especially when reviewing legacy systems.  Although IEC61511 doesn’t preclude the use of shared devices, it does however provide guidance under Clause 11 of what the constraints are.  Even though the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) and Basic Process Control System (BPCS)…

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