New Guide to Applying ISO 13849–1 and IEC 62061

One of the big chal­lenges fac­ing machine builders has been choos­ing between ISO 13849–1 and IEC 62061. The IEC pub­lished a new guide at the end of July, 2010 called Tech­ni­cal Report IEC/TR 62061–1 ed1.0 Guid­ance on the appli­ca­tion of ISO 13849–1 and IEC 62061 in the design of safe­ty-relat­ed con­trol sys­tems for machin­ery. The new 38-page guide is avail­able as a hard copy or a PDF file. Writ­ten joint­ly by Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee IEC/TC 44, Safe­ty of machin­ery – Elec­trotech­ni­cal aspects and Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee ISO/TC 199, Safe­ty of machin­ery. The Tech­ni­cal Report was pub­lished in par­al­lel by ISO as ISO/TR 23849.

Tech­ni­cal Reports don’t have the same sta­tus as Inter­na­tion­al Stan­dards, but pro­vide the TC’s with  a means to pro­vide guid­ance and expla­na­tion to help users imple­ment the stan­dard.

Table of Contents

Since this is a copy­right­ed doc­u­ment, I can’t repro­duce it here. Instead, here’s the Table of Con­tents that will give you some idea of  the document’s con­tents.

Cover of IEC/TR 62061-1
IEC/TR 62061–1
  1. Scope
  2. Gen­er­al
  3. Com­par­i­son of stan­dards
  4. Risk esti­ma­tion and assign­ment of required per­for­mance
  5. Safe­ty require­ments spec­i­fi­ca­tion
  6. Assign­ment of per­for­mance tar­gets: PL ver­sus SIL
  7. Sys­tem design
  8. Exam­ple
  9. Bib­li­og­ra­phy

Merger Coming Soon

The intro­duc­tion to the TR indi­cates that it will be incor­po­rat­ed into both IEC 62061 and ISO 13849–1 through a cor­ri­gen­da that ref­er­ences this new doc­u­ment. The cor­ri­gen­da will also remove the infor­ma­tion giv­en in Table 1, Rec­om­mend­ed appli­ca­tion of IEC 62061 and ISO 13849–1, found in the com­mon intro­duc­tion to both stan­dards and which is now out of date.

At some point in the near future, IEC and ISO  intend that ISO 13849–1 and IEC 62061 will be merged. A  Joint Work­ing Group (JWG) of ISO/TC 199 and IEC/TC 44 will be formed to com­plete this task. No pub­lic time line has been set for this activ­i­ty, how­ev­er the Intro­duc­tion to the Tech­ni­cal Report sug­gests that it may be a few years yet, as the TC’s involved want to get some feed­back from users on the lat­est ver­sions. If I had to haz­ard a guess, I would sug­gest that the new merged doc­u­ment might make its first appear­ance in 2013 when the cur­rent edi­tion of ISO 13849–1 comes up for main­te­nance revi­sion. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether I’m right on that or not. In any case, I as a user of the stan­dards, I am whole­heart­ed­ly behind the merg­er, and hope­ful­ly the sim­pli­fi­ca­tion, of these stan­dards to make them more acces­si­ble to the machine build­ing com­mu­ni­ty.


A bilin­gual (Eng­lish and French) ver­sion of IEC/TR 62061–1 edi­tion 1.0 is avail­able.

ISO/TR 23849:2010 is avail­able as a 14-page doc­u­ment, in either Eng­lish or French.

Down­load IEC stan­dards, Inter­na­tion­al Elec­trotech­ni­cal Com­mis­sion stan­dards.

Watch for my review of this impor­tant new doc­u­ment com­ing in the next few days!

Series Nav­i­ga­tionIEC/TR 62061–1 Reviewed”>IEC/TR 62061–1 Reviewed

Author: Doug Nix

Doug Nix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. ( in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Senior Editor of the Machinery Safety 101 blog. Doug's work includes teaching machinery risk assessment techniques privately and through Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ontario, as well as providing technical services and training programs to clients related to risk assessment, industrial machinery safety, safety-related control system integration and reliability, laser safety and regulatory conformity. For more see Doug's LinkedIn profile.