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Avoiding errors when designing safety systems

15 March 2024

IT’S 29 years since the seminal HSE publication, Out of control: Why control systems go wrong and how to prevent failure, yet it remains one of the most cited publications on functional safety.

It highlighted that most failures had their roots in decisions made before the plant or equipment was even constructed. In order to ensure that a safety function will operate correctly when required, it is vital to control systematic errors during the full lifecycle of a safety system. 

Errors introduced at the specification, design and implementation lifecycle phase can be particularly difficult to foresee and may only be revealed during a ‘real demand’ unless actions are taken to identify them.

In recent years, considerable effort has been made to reduce human error in the operational phases by concentrating on procedures, training, systems and software packages that prevent deviation during commissioning, verification and proof testing. However, the same cannot be said about activities during the design phase.

Our recent webinar on this topic - Design and implementation of safety systems: Are we still out of control? - is now available to view on-demand. 

Mark Hodgins, customer training manager and Endress+Hauser UK’s safety expert, and Western Business Media CEO Mark Sennett look at how design errors can impact the ability of a SIF to perform its safety function. They also discuss how to reduce the incidence of design errors and some of the ways in which reducing human error in the design phase can be achieved, with real-world examples and particular emphasis on the selection of measurement transmitters. 

You can view the webinar at: