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IEC 61508-5

2nd Edition, April 1, 2010

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Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems – Part 5: Examples of methods for the determination of safety integrity levels

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Referenced Items:

IEC 61508-1
IEC 61508-2
IEC 61508-3
IEC 61508-4

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Description / Abstract:

This part of IEC 61508 provides information on

– the underlying concepts of risk and the relationship of risk to safety integrity (see Annex A);

– a number of methods that will enable the safety integrity levels for the E/E/PE safetyrelated systems to be determined (see Annexes C, D, E, F and G).

The method selected will depend upon the application sector and the specific circumstances under consideration. Annexes C, D, E, F and G illustrate quantitative and qualitative approaches and have been simplified in order to illustrate the underlying principles. These annexes have been included to illustrate the general principles of a number of methods but do not provide a definitive account. Those intending to apply the methods indicated in these annexes should consult the source material referenced.

NOTE For more information on the approaches illustrated in Annexes B, and E, see references [5] and [8] in the Bibliography. See also reference [6] in the Bibliography for a description of an additional approach.

IEC 61508-1, IEC 61508-2, IEC 61508-3 and IEC 61508-4 are basic safety publications, although this status does not apply in the context of low complexity E/E/PE safety-related systems (see 3.4.3 of IEC 61508-4). As basic safety publications, they are intended for use by technical committees in the preparation of standards in accordance with the principles contained in IEC Guide 104 and ISO/IEC Guide 51. IEC 61508-1, IEC 61508-2, IEC 61508-3 and IEC 61508-4 are also intended for use as stand-alone publications. The horizontal safety function of this international standard does not apply to medical equipment in compliance with the IEC 60601 series.

One of the responsibilities of a technical committee is, wherever applicable, to make use of basic safety publications in the preparation of its publications. In this context, the requirements, test methods or test conditions of this basic safety publication will not apply unless specifically referred to or included in the publications prepared by those technical committees.

Figure 1 shows the overall framework of the IEC 61508 series and indicates the role that IEC 61508-5 plays in the achievement of functional safety for E/E/PE safety-related systems.