Control systems, sensors and other systems and components oftentimes are installed in areas that are considered hazardous locations (HazLoc). In this instance, considerations related to the safety of these products, such as Directives and international standardizations exist to guide harmonization. This harmonization is commonly adopted in regions throughout the world, and UL Solutions provides testing, inspection and certification solutions for customers who need to navigate this complex environment. This includes product safety and functional safety.
The importance of functional safety certification
For manufacturers selling HazLoc equipment in global markets, functional safety certification is a differentiating factor in this competitive market. System integrators can request that the products be functional safety certified to help enhance confidence in process safety and provide evidence of a system’s compliance with safety and reliability standards. In addition, functional safety certification can help satisfy the requirements of insurance companies and government agencies. For example, Essential Safety and Health requirements (EHSR’s) are called out in many European Directives, of which the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of each European country must regulate and enforce workplace health, safety and welfare requirements. There are similar regulatory requirements around the world, and UL Solutions strives to provide a comprehensive service portfolio to support international and regional compliance strategies.
Functional safety in HazLoc equipment
Products must first be certified for use in hazardous locations (HazLoc) to comply with a country’s jurisdiction. This type of certification falls under electrical safety, which does not include the assessment of the process safety time (PST) or reaction to abnormal process behavior. PST is a function of the following:
- Process behavior
- Process equipment
- Process performance if a systematic failure occurs
- System impact analysis if an emergency demand is required to avoid any potential hazard
PST functionality and system safety performance assessment are managed through functional safety evaluation. An example of a regulatory demand driver includes, equipment designed for use in HazLoc in the European Union (EU), must be certified to ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, or to classes and divisions by a notified body (NB). ATEX is an abbreviation for the French phrase, “Atmosphères Explosives,” which translates to “explosive atmospheres” in English).
Functional safety has been mandated in various directives such as the ATEX Directive (2034/4/EU), the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), and EN, EN/ISO and EN/IEC standards (harmonized and non-harmonized). These standards have been published to qualify safety-related devices for use in HazLoc and other categories of machinery applications, commercial products for home use, and various industrial applications.
National and international functional safety standards across diverse industries
Many international standards include functional safety evaluation. For example:
- Household products – IEC/UL/CSA/EN 60730-1, particularly Annex H, and IEC/EN/CSA/UL 60335-2-5
- Industrial – IEC/UL/EN 61800-5-2 and IEC/EN/UL 61946, the Standard for Safety of Machinery – Electro-Sensitive Protective Equipment
- Energy – IEC/EN/UL 62619-1 and -2; UL 9540, the Standard for Energy Storage Systems and Equipment; UL 1973, the Standard for Batteries for Use in Stationary and Motive Auxiliary Power Applications; and UL 2580, the Standard for Batteries for Use in Electric Vehicles
- Other safety-related standards – IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, which provide safety lifecycle activities frameworks for which safety functions are developed and evaluated, and ISO 26262 for the automotive industry
Additionally, some electrical safety standards require compliance with UL 1998, the Standard for Software in Programmable Components, and UL 991, the Standard for Tests for Safety-Related Controls Employing Solid-State Devices. Demonstrating compliance with these international standards enables manufacturers to access global markets with only minimal additional requirements, such as country regulations for electrical safety issues.
Benefits of choosing UL Solutions for functional safety certification
Work with a comprehensive certification provider with accreditations to serve global customers
To help address the high demand for functional safety certification offerings covering diverse regions of the world, UL Solutions has sought and received more than 70 accreditations to serve national and international customers. We are accredited by the U.S. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to cover all applicable functional safety-related standards for the autonomy, automotive, process, automation and commercial industries.1 UL Solutions offers testing, certification and advisory services to help manufacturers navigate requirements for international and regional compliance and other relevant standards and regulations for HazLoc equipment functional safety.
When manufacturers certify their HazLoc products through agencies outside of North America, they may need to meet additional requirements to enter the United States and Canadian markets. For example, products certified to EN/IEC 61800-5-2 and received an EC type approval from European agency, still need to comply with UL 61800-5-2, the Standard for Adjustable Speed Electrical Power Drive Systems, to meet U.S. and Canadian market access requirements. Manufacturers can only do this through a file conversion process that requires additional costs that they may not have taken into consideration. This process can be challenging for the manufacturer if the initial assessment carried out by other agencies did not provide sufficient evidence to support the certification or a nonaccredited testing laboratory issued the test results.
Help reduce certification costs and time to market
Another advantage of seeking certification through UL Solutions is streamlined compliance and market acceptance. As your comprehensive functional safety testing, certification and advisory provider, we offer flexible bundled services and dedicated expert support to help you save valuable time and costs.
Differentiate your products with the UL Mark
Backed by our extensive certification expertise, the widely recognized UL Mark is a trusted symbol in the HazLoc industry. We also offer a UL Functional Safety Mark to qualify customers in the process of pursuing a traditional safety certification. The UL Functional Safety Mark adds to the traditional product safety UL Mark on products. It is available for products compliant with U.S., Canada and European safety requirements.
To learn more or discuss your specific questions with our experts, visit our functional safety services page.