Training & Education

Addressing the weakest link in your safety systems

September 2003 Training & Education Retail (Industry)

When it comes to safety-instrumented systems, simply deciding on a logic box should be the least of your concerns. Have hazard, risk, and safety integrity level assessments been done properly? Is the safety requirements specification complete? What about field devices, levels of redundancy, test intervals, documentation, test procedures, data collection, management of change, competency of those involved in operation and maintenance, etc?

There are now many SIL certified devices available. Unfortunately, simply putting them together in a system may not guarantee that the overall integrity requirements have been satisfied. The people involved, and their level of expertise and knowledge, are critical in establishing and achieving the required integrity of the overall system. IEC 61508, Part 1, Paragraph 6.2.1 (h) states, "... ensuring that applicable parties involved in any of the overall E/E/PE (electric/electronic/ programmable electronic) or software safety lifecycle activities are competent to carry out activities for which they are accountable." How can you be assured of personnel competency in this field?

The CFSE (Certified Functional Safety Expert) concept was originally developed by TÜV (a German organisation with offices worldwide), with the support of international safety experts including, to ensure that personnel performing safety instrumented systems lifecycle activities were competent as required by various international standards. The CFSE programme is now administered by the CFSE Governance Board, which in turn is supported by a broad consortium of companies.

In concert with the CFSE Governance Board, has developed a series of training programmes to provide engineers and their companies with the best way of learning about automation reliability and safety. explain the standards, techniques, and tools over a wide range of industrial automation applications.

The specific four-day programme in functional safety engineering is suitable for instrumentation and control system engineers in the process industries who are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining safety shutdown systems. Managers, sales professionals, technicians, and engineers employed by end-users, engineering firms, system integrators, and consultants can all benefit from the material presented here. developed this training because of the increased realisation that today's engineering systems - and the computers used to control them - are capable of large-scale destruction. When even a single accident could be disastrous, the luxury of learning from experience no longer exists. The material in this course, including numerous examples and case studies, provides a practical how-to guide for the analysis, design, application, and installation of safety instrumented systems.

Principal engineer and partner, (Harry L. Cheddie, P.Eng, CFSE)

Cheddie has over 25 years of experience in the design, installation and maintenance of process control and safety instrumented systems for the mining, petroleum and petrochemical industries. He also has considerable experience in process hazard analysis of chemical and petrochemical plants. He has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with several distributed control systems, scada systems, conventional PLCs, and safety PLCs. He is the co-author of a best selling textbook titled 'Safety Shutdown Systems: Design, Analysis & Justification'. Published by the International Society for Automation (ISA).


BSc with First Class Honours in Electrical Engineering from Salford University in England. A registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, Canada. A Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE). Certified by the American Society for Quality as a Reliability Engineer and also as a Quality Engineer.

For more information contact Hendrik van Huyssteen, Energas Technologies, 011 397 6809,

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