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Safety Manager Role

Safety managers are an essential part of maintaining functional safety and are required in the automotive industry by ISO 26262.

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Safety management is often seen as a stand-alone activity. Sometimes, it is even an activity that only occurs near the end of product development. However, functional safety is essential to designing and developing an effective product and must be part of the project plan from start to finish. In the automotive industry, the ISO 26262 standard requires manufacturers to appoint a manager to oversee safety and help ensure teams meet timelines and complete safety activities.

Selecting a safety manager 

Identifying the strongest internal candidate for safety manager can prove challenging. Primarily, internal managers may find themselves influenced by pressures other than the safety of the product, which may conflict with achieving safety goals. At the same time, a safety manager from outside the design-responsible entity may lack the technical knowledge and clout required to serve the role effectively. Regardless of where the safety manager sits, there are several essential activities they perform to support automotive safety management.

Safety manager activities

A dedicated safety manager helps manage the safety plan, which guides the program team through creating the work products necessary to develop evidence for a safety case.

Additionally, a safety manager may:

  • Act as a point of contact for customer communications regarding functional safety activities.
  • Advise the customer’s team on the proper creation of functional safety work products.
  • Provide independent confirmation reviews on products that require such activities.
  • Create planning documents to support the safety case.
  • Interface with customer’s suppliers/customers and internal engineering teams to communicate relevant information to engineering teams regarding safety plans and safety case development.
  • Perform other activities as agreed upon between the customer and UL to support the development of a safety case and maintain the appropriate level of independence.

The strength of a third-party provider

Having a third-party functional safety manager with expertise in similar projects across the industry can help support safety assurance. Independent safety managers focus on safety without the burden of additional tasks and help identify compliance gaps while also proposing measures to address such gaps.

Safety management with UL Solutions

When working with UL Solutions, you benefit from experts with backgrounds in functional safety, automotive systems and automotive development processes. Leveraging one of our experts to perform the role of functional safety manager can help you reduce the risk of both internal pressure and a lack of expertise.

Every safety manager from UL Solutions can also be a point of contact for safety with your customers and perform independent confirmation reviews. We assume the safety manager role as a natural extension of your organization and help guide your team through functional safety compliance and support:

  • Efficient and effective safety assistance.
  • Increased confidence in the safety of your products.
  • Reduced risk of bias.
  • Compliance with the ISO 26262 safety manager requirement.

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