In today’s chemical and other process plants, complying with safety standards requires more than just installing a certified safety instrumented system (SIS). Full compliance requires ensuring safety on a continuous loop-by-loop basis. SIS users perform some type of hazard and risk analysis before installing their safety systems. However, many still fail to audit their safety protection adequately after SIS installation and commissioning. The safety standards require process plants to have competent certified personnel audit their systems following installation and then periodically on a regular basis.
Many regulatory bodies consider this process, which is detailed within the IEC 61508/ISA84 standards, to be an industry best practice. With fines and even criminal convictions at risk, industrial organizations should make serious efforts to ensure that their safety systems are current. This is one area where ignorance is no longer bliss.