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Things to check when working with an IEC 61508-compliant product development company

When evaluating a company for IEC 61508 compliance, you should consider various aspects related to their processes, documentation, and overall safety management. Here are some key factors to look for:

Competence and Training:

  • Verify that personnel involved in safety-critical activities have the necessary competence and training to perform their roles effectively.
  • Look for evidence of ongoing training programs to keep staff updated on the latest safety practices.

Documentation and Records:

  • Evaluate the completeness and accuracy of safety documentation, including hazard and risk assessments, safety requirements, and verification and validation records.
  • Ensure that there is a robust documentation control system in place.

Safety Lifecycle Processes:

  • Assess how well the company integrates safety considerations throughout the entire lifecycle of their products or systems.
  • Look for evidence of adherence to safety lifecycle processes, including planning, design, implementation, operation, and maintenance.

Verification and Validation:

  • Check for evidence of systematic capability to achieve the required Safety Integrity Levels (SILs).
  • Assess the effectiveness of verification and validation processes at different stages of the safety lifecycle.

Change Management:

  • Evaluate the company’s processes for managing changes to safety-critical systems to ensure that safety is not compromised during modifications or updates.

Independence and Impartiality:

  • Assess the independence of safety assessments and activities to ensure objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Verify that the company maintains impartiality in the evaluation and decision-making processes related to safety.

Performance Monitoring and Continuous Improvement:

  • Check if the company has established processes for monitoring the performance of safety functions.
  • Assess how they analyse incidents and failures and implement improvements based on lessons learned.

Supplier and Outsourcing Management:

  • Verify the company’s approach to managing external suppliers and ensure that suppliers meet the necessary safety requirements.
  • If the company outsources safety-related activities, assess their control and oversight processes.

By thoroughly evaluating these aspects, you can gain confidence in a company’s commitment to functional safety and its ability to meet the requirements outlined in IEC 61508. Keep in mind that the specific context of the industry and the nature of the safety-critical systems in question should also be taken into consideration.

To further discuss your project’s IEC 61508 requirements, book an appointment with our friendly team here –

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