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    Risk reduction through functional safety for actors

    Autor: Steffen Preg/Heike Bull-Schmeding
    Special 1  2013 
    5 Seiten

    Safety issues in modern industrial plants gain increasing importance, in particular for plants with high hazard potential within the oil & gas sector, the chemical industry or in power plants. Today, a clear trend to implement sophisticated safety systems intervening in case of failure can be noted, in particular to monitor processes leading to potential hazards for both persons and the environment. Such systems are used to shut down a plant in case of emergency, for example, to cut off the supply of hazardous substances, provide cooling or open valves for pressure relief. To reduce hazards emanating from a plant, these systems must perform their safety functions in case of emergency and must not fail. However, how can plant operators and device manufacturers guarantee that the systems implemented work “safely” and meet the necessary requirements? How can failure risks be assessed? The standards relating to functional safety, IEC 61508, supply the appropriate answer. For the first time, it describes methods for assessing the failure risks of modern and often software controlled systems and for determining the actions for risk reduction.