Checklist: Does Your Safety System Need an Update?

As a plant operator, how do you determine if your existing safety system still fulfills all key requirements? Our checklist helps to give you an overview of how safe your plant is.

What is the status of your safety system?

To ensure your plant is continuously safe, you must maintain up-to-date hardware and software as well having qualified employees. Operators should also be familiar with product lifecycles so that obsolete parts can be replaced with new ones when required. This checklist isn’t a substitute for having an expert inspection on site. However, it can clarify basic safety criteria at your plant. Are you able to answer these six questions with “yes”?

  • Does your plant fulfill the latest requirements?
    Technology and standards often change. You must regularly check if your plant complies with the latest safety regulations. This can help you identify potential hazards at an early stage and prevent faults. Frequent system checks and maintenance activities help operators fulfill their obligations and increase reliability.
  • Are there changes or improvements available for your safety system?
    The usability, operational safety, and fault tolerance of existing functions are frequently improved. This leads to higher availability, robustness, and safety of your systems. Keep all installed products up to date to benefit from these advantages.
  • Do your employees have the necessary expertise?
    Only qualified personnel should work with safety devices. Ensure that staff qualified in measurement, control, and regulation technology are available at short notice for system support. Education and training for technical staff are prerequisites for safe, uninterrupted plant operation.
  • Are replacement parts available on site?
    Ensure that replacement parts are in good condition and available at short notice. This helps prevent long periods of downtime in the event of a failure. An inventory plan is also beneficial to record all required replacement parts. It documents whether these components are available on site or if a service provider can deliver them at short notice and install them on demand.
  • Are you familiar with the maintenance manuals and the defined service life of components?
    Have consumables been replaced in line with the maintenance manual? Ensure you perform proof tests and inspections regularly. This is also an aspect of maintenance according to the manufacturer’s specifications. However, system maintenance should only be carried out by qualified personnel.
  • Are required components up to date and/or available?
    Plant operators should maintain an overview of the lifecycle of their safety systems. Support and availability for obsolete components could be limited. Obsolete components that are no longer in the manufacturer’s current portfolio should be replaced or modernized as soon as possible.
  • Are risk management and cybersecurity measures in place?
    Industrial plants have never been as networked as today. As a result, the risk of cyberattacks is increasing. A successful hacker can manipulate, completely control, or even destroy plants. The latest standards demand risk management and descriptions of identified threats and precautionary measures.