ISO 13849 – 1 Analysis — Part 8: Fault Exclusion

This entry is part of 9 in the series How to do a 13849 – 1 ana­lys­is

Fault Consideration & Fault Exclusion

ISO 13849 – 1, Chapter 7 [1, 7] dis­cusses the need for fault con­sid­er­a­tion and fault exclu­sion. Fault con­sid­er­a­tion is the pro­cess of examin­ing the com­pon­ents and sub-​systems used in the safety-​related part of the con­trol sys­tem (SRP/​CS) and mak­ing a list of all the faults that could occur in each one. This a def­in­itely non-​trivial exer­cise!

Thinking back to some of the earli­er art­icles in this series where I men­tioned the dif­fer­ent types of faults, you may recall that there are detect­able and undetect­able faults, and there are safe and dan­ger­ous faults, lead­ing us to four kinds of fault:

  • Safe undetect­able faults
  • Dangerous undetect­able faults
  • Safe detect­able faults
  • Dangerous undetect­able faults

For sys­tems where no dia­gnostics are used, Category B and 1, faults need to be elim­in­ated using inher­ently safe design tech­niques. Care needs to be taken when clas­si­fy­ing com­pon­ents as “well-​tried” versus using a fault exclu­sion, as com­pon­ents that might nor­mally be con­sidered “well-​tried” might not meet those require­ments in every applic­a­tion.

For sys­tems where dia­gnostics are part of the design, i.e., Category 2, 3, and 4, the fault lists are used to eval­u­ate the dia­gnost­ic cov­er­age (DC) of the test sys­tems. Depending on the archi­tec­ture, cer­tain levels of DC are required to meet the rel­ev­ant PL, see [1, Fig. 5]. The fault lists are start­ing point for the determ­in­a­tion of DC, and are an input into the hard­ware and soft­ware designs. All of the dan­ger­ous detect­able faults must be covered by the dia­gnostics, and the DC must be high enough to meet the PLr. for the safety func­tion.

The fault lists and fault exclu­sions are used in the Validation por­tion of this pro­cess as well. At the start of the Validation pro­cess flow chart [2, Fig. 1], you can see how the fault lists and the cri­ter­ia used for fault exclu­sion are used as inputs to the val­id­a­tion plan.

The diagram shows the first few stages in the ISO 13849-2 Validation process. See ISO 13849-2, Figure 1.
Start of ISO 13849 – 2 Fig. 1

Faults that can be excluded do not need to val­id­ated, sav­ing time and effort dur­ing the sys­tem veri­fic­a­tion and val­id­a­tion (V & V). How is this done?

Fault Consideration

The first step is to devel­op a list of poten­tial faults that could occur, based on the com­pon­ents and sub­sys­tems included in SRP/​CS. ISO 13849 – 2 [2] includes lists of typ­ic­al faults for vari­ous tech­no­lo­gies. For example, [2, Table A.4] is the fault list for mech­an­ic­al com­pon­ents.

Mechanical fault list from ISO 13849-2
Table A.4 — Faults and fault exclu­sions — Mechanical devices, com­pon­ents and ele­ments
(e.g. cam, fol­low­er, chain, clutch, brake, shaft, screw, pin, guide, bear­ing)

[2] con­tains tables sim­il­ar to Table A.4 for:

  • Pressure-​coil springs
  • Directional con­trol valves
  • Stop (shut-​off) valves/​non-​return (check) valves/​quick-​action vent­ing valves/​shuttle valves, etc.
  • Flow valves
  • Pressure valves
  • Pipework
  • Hose assem­blies
  • Connectors
  • Pressure trans­mit­ters and pres­sure medi­um trans­ducers
  • Compressed air treat­ment — Filters
  • Compressed-​air treat­ment — Oilers
  • Compressed air treat­ment — Silencers
  • Accumulators and pres­sure ves­sels
  • Sensors
  • Fluidic Information pro­cessing — Logical ele­ments
  • etc.

As you can see, there are many dif­fer­ent types of faults that need to be con­sidered. Keep in mind that I did not give you all of the dif­fer­ent fault lists – this post would be a mile long if I did that! The point is that you need to devel­op a fault list for your sys­tem, and then con­sider the impact of each fault on the oper­a­tion of the sys­tem. If you have com­pon­ents or sub­sys­tems that are not lis­ted in the tables, then you need to devel­op your own fault lists for those items. Using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) tech­niques are usu­ally the best approach for these com­pon­ents [23], [24].

When con­sid­er­ing the faults to be included in the list there are a few things that should be con­sidered [1, 7.2]:

  • if after the first fault occurs oth­er faults devel­op due to the first fault, then you can group those faults togeth­er as a single fault
  • two or more single faults with a com­mon cause can be con­sidered as a single fault
  • mul­tiple faults with dif­fer­ent causes but occur­ring sim­ul­tan­eously is con­sidered improb­able and does not need to be con­sidered


A voltage reg­u­lat­or fails in a sys­tem power sup­ply so that the 24 Vdc out­put rises to an unreg­u­lated 36 Vdc (the intern­al power sup­ply bus voltage), and after some time has passed, two sensors fail, then all three fail­ures can be grouped and con­sidered as a single fault.

If a light­ning strike occurs on the power line and the res­ult­ing surge voltage on the 400 V mains causes an inter­pos­ing con­tact­or and the motor drive it con­trols to fail to danger, then these fail­ures may be grouped and con­sidered as one.

A pneu­mat­ic lub­ric­at­or runs out of lub­ric­ant and is not refilled, depriving down­stream pneu­mat­ic com­pon­ents of lub­ric­a­tion. The spool on the sys­tem dump valve sticks open because it is not cycled often enough. Neither of these fail­ures has the same cause, so there is no need to con­sider them as occur­ring sim­ul­tan­eously because the prob­ab­il­ity of both hap­pen­ing con­cur­rently is extremely small. One cau­tion: These two faults MAY have a com­mon cause – poor main­ten­ance. Even if this is true and you decide to con­sider them to be two faults with a com­mon cause, they could then be grouped as a single fault.

Fault Exclusion

Once you have your well-​considered fault lists togeth­er, the next ques­tion is “Can any of the lis­ted faults be excluded?” This is a tricky ques­tion! There are a few points to con­sider:

  • Does the sys­tem archi­tec­ture allow for fault exclu­sion?
  • Is the fault tech­nic­ally improb­able, even if it is pos­sible?
  • Does exper­i­ence show that the fault is unlikely to occur?*
  • Are there tech­nic­al require­ments related to the applic­a­tion and the haz­ard that might sup­port fault exclu­sion?

BE CAREFUL with this one!

Whenever faults are excluded, a detailed jus­ti­fic­a­tion for the exclu­sion needs to be included in the sys­tem design doc­u­ment­a­tion. Simply decid­ing that the fault can be excluded is NOT ENOUGH! Consider the risk a per­son will be exposed to in the event the fault occurs. If the sever­ity is very high, i.e., severe per­man­ent injury or death, you may not want to exclude the fault even if you think you could. Careful con­sid­er­a­tion of the res­ult­ing injury scen­ario is needed.

Basing a fault exclu­sion on per­son­al exper­i­ence is sel­dom con­sidered adequate, which is why I added the aster­isk (*) above. Look for good stat­ist­ic­al data to sup­port any decision to use a fault exclu­sion.

There is much more inform­a­tion avail­able in IEC 61508 – 2 on the sub­ject of fault exclu­sion, and there is good inform­a­tion in some of the books men­tioned below [0.2], [0.3], and [0.4]. If you know of addi­tion­al resources you would like to share, please post the inform­a­tion in the com­ments!


3.1.3 fault
state of an item char­ac­ter­ized by the inab­il­ity to per­form a required func­tion, exclud­ing the inab­il­ity dur­ing pre­vent­ive main­ten­ance or oth­er planned actions, or due to lack of extern­al resources
Note 1 to entry: A fault is often the res­ult of a fail­ure of the item itself, but may exist without pri­or fail­ure.
Note 2 to entry: In this part of ISO 13849, “fault” means ran­dom fault. [SOURCE: IEC 60050?191:1990, 05 – 01.]

Book List

Here are some books that I think you may find help­ful on this jour­ney:

[0]     B. Main, Risk Assessment: Basics and Benchmarks, 1st ed. Ann Arbor, MI USA: DSE, 2004.

[0.1]  D. Smith and K. Simpson, Safety crit­ic­al sys­tems hand­book. Amsterdam: Elsevier/​Butterworth-​Heinemann, 2011.

[0.2]  Electromagnetic Compatibility for Functional Safety, 1st ed. Stevenage, UK: The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2008.

[0.3]  Overview of tech­niques and meas­ures related to EMC for Functional Safety, 1st ed. Stevenage, UK: Overview of tech­niques and meas­ures related to EMC for Functional Safety, 2013.


Note: This ref­er­ence list starts in Part 1 of the series, so “miss­ing” ref­er­ences may show in oth­er parts of the series. Included in the last post of the series is the com­plete ref­er­ence list.

[1]     Safety of machinery — Safety-​related parts of con­trol sys­tems — Part 1: General prin­ciples for design. 3rd Edition. ISO Standard 13849 – 1. 2015.

[2]     Safety of machinery – Safety-​related parts of con­trol sys­tems – Part 2: Validation. 2nd Edition. ISO Standard 13849 – 2. 2012.

[3]      Safety of machinery – General prin­ciples for design – Risk assess­ment and risk reduc­tion. ISO Standard 12100. 2010.

[4]     Safeguarding of Machinery. 2nd Edition. CSA Standard Z432. 2004.

[5]     Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction- A Guideline to Estimate, Evaluate and Reduce Risks Associated with Machine Tools. ANSI Technical Report B11.TR3. 2000.

[6]    Safety of machinery – Emergency stop func­tion – Principles for design. ISO Standard 13850. 2015.

[7]     Functional safety of electrical/​electronic/​programmable elec­tron­ic safety-​related sys­tems. 7 parts. IEC Standard 61508. Edition 2. 2010.

[8]     S. Jocelyn, J. Baudoin, Y. Chinniah, and P. Charpentier, “Feasibility study and uncer­tain­ties in the val­id­a­tion of an exist­ing safety-​related con­trol cir­cuit with the ISO 13849 – 1:2006 design stand­ard,” Reliab. Eng. Syst. Saf., vol. 121, pp. 104 – 112, Jan. 2014.

[9]    Guidance on the applic­a­tion of ISO 13849 – 1 and IEC 62061 in the design of safety-​related con­trol sys­tems for machinery. IEC Technical Report TR 62061 – 1. 2010.

[10]     Safety of machinery – Functional safety of safety-​related elec­tric­al, elec­tron­ic and pro­gram­mable elec­tron­ic con­trol sys­tems. IEC Standard 62061. 2005.

[11]    Guidance on the applic­a­tion of ISO 13849 – 1 and IEC 62061 in the design of safety-​related con­trol sys­tems for machinery. IEC Technical Report 62061 – 1. 2010.

[12]    D. S. G. Nix, Y. Chinniah, F. Dosio, M. Fessler, F. Eng, and F. Schrever, “Linking Risk and Reliability — Mapping the out­put of risk assess­ment tools to func­tion­al safety require­ments for safety related con­trol sys­tems,” 2015.

[13]    Safety of machinery. Safety related parts of con­trol sys­tems. General prin­ciples for design. CEN Standard EN 954 – 1. 1996.

[14]   Functional safety of electrical/​electronic/​programmable elec­tron­ic safety-​related sys­tems – Part 2: Requirements for electrical/​electronic/​programmable elec­tron­ic safety-​related sys­tems. IEC Standard 61508 – 2. 2010.

[15]     Reliability Prediction of Electronic Equipment. Military Handbook MIL-​HDBK-​217F. 1991.

[16]     “IFA – Practical aids: Software-​Assistent SISTEMA: Safety Integrity – Software Tool for the Evaluation of Machine Applications”, Dguv​.de, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://​www​.dguv​.de/​i​f​a​/​p​r​a​x​i​s​h​i​l​f​e​n​/​p​r​a​c​t​i​c​a​l​-​s​o​l​u​t​i​o​n​s​-​m​a​c​h​i​n​e​-​s​a​f​e​t​y​/​s​o​f​t​w​a​r​e​-​s​i​s​t​e​m​a​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​jsp. [Accessed: 30- Jan- 2017].

[17]      “fail­ure mode”, 192−03−17, International Electrotechnical Vocabulary. IEC International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva, 2015.

[18]      M. Gentile and A. E. Summers, “Common Cause Failure: How Do You Manage Them?,” Process Saf. Prog., vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 331 – 338, 2006.

[19]     Out of Control — Why con­trol sys­tems go wrong and how to pre­vent fail­ure, 2nd ed. Richmond, Surrey, UK: HSE Health and Safety Executive, 2003.

[20]     Safeguarding of Machinery. 3rd Edition. CSA Standard Z432. 2016.

[21]     O. Reg. 851, INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS. Ontario, Canada, 1990.

[22]     “Field-​programmable gate array”, En​.wiki​pe​dia​.org, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​F​i​e​l​d​-​p​r​o​g​r​a​m​m​a​b​l​e​_​g​a​t​e​_​a​r​ray. [Accessed: 16-​Jun-​2017].

[23]     Analysis tech­niques for sys­tem reli­ab­il­ity – Procedure for fail­ure mode and effects ana­lys­is (FMEA). 2nd Ed. IEC Standard 60812. 2006.

[24]     “Failure mode and effects ana­lys­is”, En​.wiki​pe​dia​.org, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​F​a​i​l​u​r​e​_​m​o​d​e​_​a​n​d​_​e​f​f​e​c​t​s​_​a​n​a​l​y​sis. [Accessed: 16-​Jun-​2017].

Do you use ISO 13849 or IEC 62061? We need to hear from you! UPDATED

Do you use ISO 13849 – 1 or IEC 62061 to define and ana­lyze the safety related parts of the con­trol sys­tems used on your machinery? Have you been frus­trated by try­ing to apply these stand­ards? Good news! ISO and IEC are work­ing on mer­ging these doc­u­ments, but the com­mit­tee work­ing on the mer­ger needs some guid­ance from users. Here’s your chance to be heard!

Be Heard

Survey graphicIn May this year, ISO TC199 launched an online sur­vey ask­ing for input from machine build­ers and any­one else that uses ISO 13849 or IEC 62061. The sur­vey probes ways that the stand­ards are used , the kinds of prob­lems they encounter when try­ing to apply them, and how the use of these stand­ards affects their products and busi­nesses. The sur­vey, titled “Design of safety related controls/​control sys­tems for machinery – Experiences with gen­er­ic stand­ards (in par­tic­u­lar ISO 13849 – 1 and IEC 62061)” asks a num­ber of import­ant ques­tions that will guide the Joint Working Group 1 (JWG1) as work pro­ceeds on mer­ging ISO 13849 and IEC 62061.

The sur­vey cov­ers:

  • The gen­er­ic and machine-​specific stand­ards used in your com­pany;
  • The types of con­trol tech­no­lo­gies used in your products;
  • Challenges with get­ting com­pon­ent reli­ab­il­ity data;
  • Use of ‘well-​tried com­pon­ents’, and the meth­ods to qual­i­fy­ing com­pon­ents as ‘well-​tried’;
  • Challenges related to integ­rat­ing mech­an­ic­al, pneu­mat­ic or hydraul­ic com­pon­ents in the design of the safety related con­trols, and the spe­cif­ic chal­lenges you have with this, as well as the means you have developed to over­come these chal­lenges;
  • The sources you use for fail­ure rate data;
  • The influ­ence of accident/​incident his­tory on your designs;
  • Methods used to determ­ine PLs or SILs;
  • The use of des­ig­nated archi­tec­tures in your designs;
  • The use of dia­gnostics;
  • Verification and val­id­a­tion pro­ced­ures;
  • Use of Common Cause factors; and
  • The use of design soft­ware tools like SISTEMA, PasCAL or SET

As you can see, it’s pretty wide-​ranging. If you have a few minutes and would like to con­trib­ute to the future devel­op­ment of these stand­ards, the Joint Working Group would like to hear from you! 

The sur­vey closes 31-​Aug-​12 30-​Nov-​12. Take a minute now to com­plete it.

English Survey

French Survey

German Survey

31-​Dec-​2011 – Are YOU ready?

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Circuit Architectures Explored

31-​December-​2011 marks a key mile­stone for machine build­ers mar­ket­ing their products in the European Union, the EEA and many of the Candidate States. Functional Safety takes a pos­it­ive step for­ward with the man­dat­ory applic­a­tion of EN ISO 13849 – 1 and -2. As of 1-​January-​2012, the safety-​related parts of the con­trol sys­tems on all machinery bear­ing a CE Mark will be required to meet these stand­ards.

This change star­ted six years ago, when these stand­ards were first har­mon­ized under the Machinery Directive. The EC Machinery Committee gave machine build­ers an addi­tion­al three years to make the trans­ition to these stand­ards, after much oppos­i­tion to the ori­gin­al man­dat­ory imple­ment­a­tion date of 31-​Dec-​08 was announced.

If you aren’t aware of these stand­ards, or if you aren’t famil­i­ar with the concept of func­tion­al safety, you need to get up to speed, and fast.

Under EN 954 – 1:1995 and the 1st Edition of ISO 13849 – 1, pub­lished in 1999, a design­er needed to select a design Category or archi­tec­ture, that would provide the degree of fault tol­er­ance and reli­ab­il­ity needed based on the out­come of the risk assess­ment for the machinery. The Categories, B, 1 – 4, remain unchanged in the 2nd Edition. I’ve talked about the Categories in detail in oth­er posts, so I won’t spend any time on them here.

The 2nd Edition brings Mean Time to Failure into the pic­ture, along with Diagnostic Coverage and Common Cause Failures. These new con­cepts require design­ers to use more ana­lyt­ic­al tech­niques in devel­op­ing their designs, and also require addi­tion­al doc­u­ment­a­tion (as usu­al!).

One of the main fail­ings with EN 954 – 1 was Validation. This top­ic was sup­posed to have been covered by EN 954 – 2, but this stand­ard was nev­er pub­lished. This has led machine build­ers to make design decisions without keep­ing the neces­sary design doc­u­ment­a­tion trail, and fur­ther­more, to skip the Validation step entirely in many cases.

The miss­ing Validation stand­ard was finally pub­lished in 2003 as ISO 13849 – 2:2003, and sub­sequently adop­ted and har­mon­ized in 2009 as EN ISO 13849 – 2:2003. While no man­dat­ory imple­ment­a­tion date for this stand­ard is giv­en in the cur­rent list of stand­ards har­mon­ized under 2006/​42/​EC-​Machinery, use of Part 1 of the stand­ard man­dates use of Part 2, so this stand­ard is effect­ively man­dat­ory at the same time.

Part 2 brings a num­ber of key annexes that are neces­sary for the imple­ment­a­tion of Part 1, and also out­lines the com­plete doc­u­ment­a­tion trail needed for val­id­a­tion, and coin­cid­ent­ally, audit. Notified bpdies will be look­ing for this inform­a­tion when eval­u­at­ing the con­tent of Technical Files used in CE Marking.

From a North American per­spect­ive, these two stand­ards gain access through ANSI’s adop­tion of ISO 10218 for Industrial Robots. Part 1 of this stand­ard, cov­er­ing the robot itself, was adop­ted last year. Part 2 of the stand­ard will be adop­ted in 2012, and RIA R15.06 will be with­drawn. At the same time, CSA will be adopt­ing the ISO stand­ards and with­draw­ing CSA Z434.

These changes will finally bring North America, the International Community and the EU onto the same foot­ing when it comes to Functional Safety in indus­tri­al machinery applic­a­tions. The days of “SIMPLE, SINGLE CHANNEL, SINGLE CHANNEL-​MONITORED and CONTROL RELIABLE” are numbered.

Are you ready?

Compliance InSight Consulting will be offer­ing a series of train­ing events in 2012 on this top­ic. For more inform­a­tion, con­tact Doug Nix.