What Is Your SIS Doing When You're Not Watching?


Organizations spend significant capital on safety instrumented systems (SIS) and as much or more on maintaining them over time. This paper examines the necessary administrative tasks associated with managing independent protection layers (IPLs) with a particular emphasis on SIS. Some of these tasks are often overlooked and significant risks exist if they are not done properly and consistently. 

International standards such as IEC 61508 and 61511 were created to improve industrial risk management after several major process safety-related accidents in the 1980s. While helpful, these standards have also spawned a large and complex body of knowledge and specialized vocabulary for the design, operations, and maintenance of an SIS. This paper provides a simplified understanding of best practices for SIS administration and demystifies the jargon for those newer to the discipline. 

Read to learn: 

  • The tasks involved in operating an SIS, such as performance monitoring, maintenance, SIF bypassing, management of change, periodic proof testing, and ongoing suitability verification 
  • The risks of using uncontrolled spreadsheets, notes, manually marked up drawings and sketches 
  • The limitations of and effort required to build an in-house application for SIS administration tasks 
  • The business value of streamlining SIS administrative tasks using a purpose-built application

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