ISA PCS 2017 – FSA Panel Session

I am delighted to announce that I will be attending the 2017 ISA Process Control and Safety Symposium on November 7-9 in Houston. I will be helping to kick off the Safety Track on Tuesday morning with a Panel Session entitled Applied Safety Instrumented Systems – Functional Safety Assessments.Functional Safety Assessments (FSAs) are a key component of the IEC 61511 Safety Lifecycle.  They require a senior, independent functional safety engineer to essentially audit the functional safety aspects of the project.  They help ensure that the Functional Safety Plan is being followed, including but not limited to:

  • Required deliverables are being produced with acceptable quality
  • Required verifications are being performed per plan
  • Changes are being tracked and managed
  • Responsible people are competent
  • Systematic errors are not being introduced

We briefly touched on FSAs in the “open forum” section of last year’s PCS 2016.  It’s clear that there is a lot to talk about.  My panel colleagues – and the audience – may drive me to different discussion points, but as of today I expect to highlight:

  • The importance of visibly integrating verifications and FSAs into the project execution plan
  • The practical importance of doing all five recommended FSAs, not just the PSSR
  • Defining the FSA process to be complementary to your design and verification processes
  • The practical challenges of competence management
  • The benefits of Functional Safety Management software tools

It should be a great discussion, and I am happy to be a part of it.

For those of you who were eagerly awaiting another healthy dose of advanced Bayesian methods (all three of you!), I am deeply sorry.  I am continuing to actively work that subject, but it was not ready by press time.  Maybe next year!

The PCS Symposium gets bigger and better every year, and Mike Scott keeps doing a fantastic job organizing a varied and interesting safety track.  The preliminary program is available here.  You should consider attending!

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