BSI, the business standards company, has published ‘Safety of machinery – Functional safety of safety-related electrical, Electronic and programmable electronic control system’.

As industry becomes increasingly automated, electrical control systems are playing a larger role in machine safety. Meanwhile those systems are using more complex electronics. BS EN 62061 provides requirements for safety-related machine control systems, and explains the necessary level of risk reduction that can be achieved.

This international standard was developed as a derivative of IEC 61508, which introduced the concept of functional safety and applies across all industry sectors. BS EN 62061 takes the provisions, rationale and SIL (safety integrity level) classification system of IEC 61508, and interprets them for machinery control systems.

Since safety related electrical control systems are intended to assist in the prevention of accidents and the protection of people from harm, any organization or individual who has a duty to ensure safety at machinery should be aware of BS EN 62061. This includes machinery designers, control system manufacturers and integrators, and others involved in the specification, design and validation of Safety-Related Electrical Control Systems of machinery. In particular it will be of interest where SIL classification is required. This is often a requirement where machinery is used in other sectors such as process or power generation.

What BS EN 62061 does:

  • Sets out an approach and provides requirements to achieve the necessary specification, design and performance
  • Offers assurance that a safety related control system has the required integrity required for the level of risk
  • Allows users to claim a presumption of conformity with the relevant health and safety requirements of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
  • Within the UK, helps compliance with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development for Governance & Risk at BSI said: “Automated systems rely upon sound electrical controls to keep them functioning, and the operators safe. As industrial demand grows, so does the importance of having a requirements document outlining appropriate measures to mitigate risks faced by machinery operators. Industry made it very clear what it wanted with this standard. Input came from experts nominated by their respective national standards bodies for their knowledge in the fields of design, usage, manufacture and statutory requirements for the safety of machinery control systems.”