EC to support development of IEC 61508 implementation guidelines


London - The European Community has sanctioned a project led by ABB and its partners Hima and Aston Dane to develop a set of guidelines for the implementation of IEC 61508.

IEC 61508 covers functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable systems and constitutes international best practice for safety systems whose failure can impact on the safety of persons and the environment.

The key objective of the project, which will span 2 years, is to provide the EU process industries with a set of Guiding Principles for the achievement of safe industrial processes through a unified approach to the implementation of IEC 61508.

"The Guiding Principles will ensure that European industry exploits as rapidly as possible the benefits that IEC-61508 offers, reducing capital and operational costs of systems, while maintaining safety performance and protecting people, environment and assets," says Stuart Nunns, project co-ordinator. "They will improve communication, assist regulatory bodies in ensuring that new systems do not introduce new intolerable risks and reduce both assessment time and time to market."

The project will canvas views across the EU via a series of 2-day workshops and technology transfer events at selected European venues, gathering essential information from the process industry community. Workshops are planned in Norway, Netherlands and the UK during 2002. More will follow during 2003; Germany, Italy, Poland, Finland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary and Spain are potential venues.

The project's web site is

Control Engineering News Desk
Michael Babb, Editor, Control Engineering Europe

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