IEC 61511: What’s New in Edition 2?

One of the most important global standards for functional safety in the process industry has been updated. The second edition of IEC 61511 contains new safety regulations and requirements for plant operators. Here are some of the key updates you need to be aware of.

IEC 61511 Edition 2 sets new requirements for plant operators and is much more detailed than the original standard. Compliance with the updated standard helps prevent unplanned downtime and gives operators legal certainty. But first, it is crucial to understand what the additions to the functional safety standard actually mean.

Additional Measures That Are Now Compulsory

With the release of Edition 2, it is now compulsory to conduct a functional safety assessment at all phases of the lifecycle. As part of this, certain documentation is required, including a safety manual covering operation and maintenance. Skills management also takes on a more important role: It is now necessary to assess and document the competence of all people involved in the safety instrumented system (SIS) lifecycle. This means plant operators will need to take a more comprehensive approach to functional safety.

While plant operators may have to alter their processes to comply with the new regulations, Edition 2 resolves some of the ambiguities of the previous edition. The revised standard provides better clarity about the relationship between IEC 61508 and IEC 61511. Importantly, it clarifies the definition of proven by “prior use”. In addition, the requirements of application programs are now specified in more detail.

Standards Brief: IEC 61511 Edition 2

Download our free standards brief

If you would like to learn more about IEC 61511 Edition 2, download this free standards brief. It gives you a concise overview of the key changes to the standard – helping you ensure compliance.

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Operation and Maintenance Requirements at a Glance

  • Ensure periodic maintenance following a defined safety plan
  • Manage and document staff qualifications
  • Define a list of spare parts necessary for each SIS
  • Conduct proof tests according to a documented procedure
  • Carry out regular visual inspections on every SIS
  • Manage modifications to safety installations

For more information and advice on IEC 61511 Edition 2, read our interview with Fred Stay, the Director of Safety Consulting at HIMA.