• Standards

ISA’s primary safety standards committees, ISA18 and ISA84, are launching several new projects this year in addition to wrapping up some key ongoing projects. Here is brief rundown of these efforts.

ISA18, Instrument Signals and Alarms

An ISA18 working group led by Bridget Fitzpatrick of Wood has begun work on an update of ISA-18.1, Annunciator Sequences and Specifications. The purpose of the standard is to establish uniform annunciator terminology, sequence designations, and sequence presentation—and to assist in the preparation of annunciator specifications and documentation. The standard is intended to improve communications among those that specify, distribute, manufacture, or use annunciators. Primary usage is intended for electrical annunciators that use individual illuminated visual displays and audible devices to call attention to abnormal process conditions. Annunciators covered range from a single annunciator cabinet to complex annunciator systems with many lamp cabinets and remote logic cabinets.

Beyond the update of ISA-18.1, much of the work of ISA18 pertains to support and education for applying ANSI/ISA-18.2, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries. The standard has found wide use and success in improving the development, design, installation, and management of alarm systems across the global process industry sectors. The ISA18 committee plans to begin working on a new revision of ISA-18.2 later this year.

At the same time, a new technical report, being developed under the leadership of Dale Reed of Rockwell Automation, focuses on alerts, events, prompts, and other notifications. The intent is to help users manage the notifications between control systems and operators that are not alarms, and other notifications not intended for operators. The technical report is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Among other activities, ISA18 is planning to establish a new working group on the digitalization of alarm management activities. The scope of the work, still being developed, may include topics ranging from digital design to artificial intelligence for improved alarm system performance.

ISA84, Instrumented Systems to Achieve Functional Safety in the Process Industries

ISA84 is also in the process of setting up a working group on digitalization, with plans to develop a technical report with the tentative title Guidance on the Use of Digital Information Management Needed to Effectively Manage Functional Safety. The technical report is expected to address how digital technologies can be applied during each phase of the functional safety lifecycle, with a focus on the associated benefits. It will identify how digital technologies can be used to facilitate timely collection, analysis, and visualization of functional safety information.

The main focus of ISA84 continues to be its ongoing work in developing and updating a comprehensive set of technical reports that give guidance and practical examples for applying the widely used ISA/IEC 61511-2018 standards, Functional Safety – Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector, Parts 1–3. These ISA/IEC standards, the first version of which was completed by ISA84 in 1996, set forth requirements for the specification, design, installation, operation, and maintenance of a safety instrumented system so that it can be entrusted to achieve or maintain a safe state of a process. Among these activities:

  • Work continues on updating ISA-TR84.00.05, Guidance on the Identification of Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) in Burner Management Systems (BMS). Focus is on providing BMS-specific guidance/clarity to all phases of the safety lifecycle, updating unit operation examples based upon the latest governing standards/practice, and incorporating end-user feedback as appropriate.
  • An update is underway of ISA-TR84.00.07-2018, Guidance on the Evaluation of Fire, Combustible Gas and Toxic Gas System Effectiveness, which addresses detection and mitigation of fire, combustible gas, and toxic gas hazards in process areas. 
  • Work continues on updating ISA-TR84.00.09-2017, Cybersecurity Related to the Functional Safety Lifecycle, which provides guidance on integrating the cybersecurity lifecycle with the safety lifecycle as they relate to safety controls, alarms, and interlocks, inclusive of safety instrumented systems. 
  • A revision of ISA-TR84.00.02, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Verification of Safety Instrumented Functions, is complete and expected to be published in February 2022. Angela Summers of SIS-Tech led the work on this document, which is a tutorial on the fundamentals of data selection and the reliability calculations. 

ISA standards participation is open to all interested parties, and experts from any country are welcome to join any ISA standards committee. For more information, contact Charley Robinson, ISA Standards.

Readers can access all ISA standards and technical reports, including those developed by the ISA18 and ISA84 committees.

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