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SIF Proof Testing

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Your trusted partner for SIF proof testing

We offer a comprehensive SIF proof testing service to ensure regulatory compliance. 

Inspec Solutions has TÜV certified Functional Safety engineers who understand the importance of regular SIF proof testing in order to maintain the original design integrity levels.  

Safety Systems – why fitting SIL Systems is only the start of it
SIF proof testing

Documentation review for SIF proof testing

Starting with all available documentation, we review the “As-built” (or As-Validated) documents to baseline the operation. This includes numerous different documents, but typically we start with: 

  • Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams 
  • Cause and Effects Diagrams 
  • Wiring Schematics 
  • General Arrangements 
  • Safety Requirements Specifications 
  • Proof Test Procedures 

Where conflicts occur between documents (usually when they have not been well controlled through the system’s lifetime, especially in legacy systems), we ensure to understand and document the discrepancies before commencing testing. 

The physical SIS Inspection for SIF Proof Testing

After establishing the documentation status, we carry out a physical SIS inspection, in order to anticipate in advance of failures: 

  • Inspect for obvious damage or signs of corrosion/degradation 
  • Check equipment tags / SIF identification 
  • Check software and/or firmware revisions match document records 
  • Check for wiring, cable or termination issues 
  • Check for poorly supported pipework/cabling 
  • Cabinet security from unauthorised access 
  • Signs of moisture/water ingress 
  • Leaks from piping or gaskets 

The above list is not exhaustive, and the original equipment supplier installation/operation/maintenance manuals will be used to provide further information to understand operation. 

At the end of the inspection phase, the “As-Is” status of the equipment is recorded before any test or rectification of problems takes place. This ensures that causes of problems are captured prior to problems being fixed. 

Following the initial inspection, SIF proof testing is commenced. Testing is preferably completed offline, when the equipment is not in-service protecting against a real hazard, although online testing can be carried out in a closely controlled and monitored manner. 

What is SIF Proof Testing?

BACKGROUND: Many installations feature safety instrumented systems (SIS) providing a level of risk reduction and claim to be SIL compliant as per BS EN / IEC 61511. These systems have been designed to bring the process to safe conditions in the event of mal-operation.

This safe operation is through the design and implementation of safety instrumented function (SIF) loops and other means of inherently failsafe design. However, many safety instrumented functions are operating in low demand mode, where the final elements such as valves are effectively dormant until needed to act.

The only way to ensure that the SIF loop will operate correctly in the event of a trip is via periodic SIF Proof Testing, a sometimes-overlooked aspect of the safety lifecycle.  

Without maintaining a SIF proof test and inspection regime, an installed SIS cannot be claimed to maintain SIL compliance.

DID YOU KNOW? Proof testing differs to normal testing, as a SIF proof test must be designed to reveal otherwise unrevealed faults that prevent the SIS from operating in accordance with the safety requirements specification. The goal is to exercise every active device in the SIF loop. This may be a subset or repeat of many of the steps that should have occurred during the original validation testing.

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Safety Systems – why fitting SIL Systems is only the start of it

SIF Proof Test Results

The result of the testing is fully documented so that the records can be used for regulatory compliance, future improvement where appropriate and elimination of potentially dangerous failures. Typically, the testing report contains:

  • Document name, unique number, issue date, author and revision information 
  • A list of documentation that was reviewed before the tests were undertaken 
  • Information on the document audience, detailing who is intended to use the procedure and perform each task 
  • Any special tools, equipment, or access requirements for the test 
  • Instruction & fields to record tags, SIF loop identifier, software and firmware, where applicable 
  • Specific instructions to record the current condition of each active SIF device 
  • Detail of the hazard and consequences of failure, with mitigating measures for on-line tests 
  • Detailed step-by-step task instructions for the test sequence 
  • Pass / Fail criteria per step, with comments 
  • Space to record the post-test condition of each device 
  • Space to record the tester name, signature and date(s) of the test  

Inspec Solutions SIF Proof Testing service is designed to ensure that your systems maintain compliance and operations whilst removing the distractions from your maintenance personnel. 

You may be interested in…

Process safety: Our safety consultants can advise to ensure relevant directives are met, helping make our customers operations safe. From the outset we advise on compliance with the latest publications of IEC 61511 / BS EN 61511 and IEC 61508 / BS EN 61508 where applicable. Find out more about process safety services.

Machinery Safety: From the smallest standalone machine, to large scale heavy industrial plant, Inspec Solutions understand the need for our Customers staff to be safe at work. Our safety consultants can advise to ensure the directives are met to help make equipment safe for use. Find out more about machinery safety services.

Safety Systems – why fitting SIL Systems is only the start of it

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The Inspec Solutions Team has experience across all our sectors and many electrical installations. Get in touch with one of the team to see how Inspec Solutions can assist you with your project requirements.