ISO 13849 is a functional safety standard that can be used across a wide range of machinery and industrial sectors. With its many sections, clauses and sub-clauses, it may at first seem intimidating, and its extensive referencing to other standards such as IEC 61508 for more critical applications can make it difficult to follow.
However, once broken down into digestible pieces, its principles offer sound guidance in the establishment of a high quality software development process, from conception into maintenance and beyond. Such a process is paramount for the assurance of true reliability, quality, safety and effectiveness of machinery. When supported by a complementary and comprehensive suite of tools for analysis and testing, it can smooth the way for development teams to work together to effectively develop and maintain even large projects with confidence in their quality.