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Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety related systems - Part 1: General requirements

Executive summary

General requirements for the functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic systems (E/E/PESs).


This European Standard covers those aspects to be considered when electrical/electronic/programmable electronic systems (E/E/PESs) are used to carry out safety functions. This standard:

a) applies to safety-related systems when one or more of such systems incorporates electrical/electronic/programmable electronic devices;

b) is generically-based and applicable to all E/E/PE safety-related systems irrespective of the application;

c) covers possible hazards caused by failures of the safety functions to be performed by E/E/PE safety-related systems, as distinct from hazards arising from the E/E/PE equipment itself (for example electric shock etc);

d) does not cover E/E/PE systems;

e) is mainly concerned with the E/E/PE safety-related systems whose failure could have an impact on the safety of persons and/or the environment;

f) considers E/E/PE safety-related systems, other technology safety-related systems and external risk reduction facilities in order that the safety requirements specification for the E/E/PE safety-related systems can be determined in a systematic, risk-based manner;

g) uses an overall safety lifecycle model as the technical framework for dealing systematically with the activities necessary for ensuring the functional safety of the E/E/PE safety-related systems;

h) does not specify the safety integrity levels required for sector applications;

i) provides general requirements for E/E/PE safety-related systems where no application sector standards exist;

j) does not cover the precautions that may be necessary to prevent unauthorized persons damaging, and/or otherwise adversely affecting, the functional safety of E/E/PE safetyrelated systems.

This part of EN 61508 specifies the general requirements that are applicable to all parts.

History and related standards

This European Standard includes the following cross references:

ISO/IEC Guide 51:1990, IEC 61508-2, IEC 61508-3:1998, IEC 61508-4:1998,

IEC 61508-5:1998, IEC 61508-6, IEC 61508-7.

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