Functional safety


Functional safety is a part of overall safety that depends on the correct and timely functioning of safety functions.

Safety functions are often used to lower the risks of industrial and other processes to an acceptable level, when the risks cannot be completely mitigated due to, for example, stored energy (thermal, kinetic, pressure etc.), process materials (chemicals), or because the process itself actively shapes or transports material. Due to their critical nature, the development of safety functions and safety systems is strictly governed and guided by standardization. Our services ensure the safety and compliance of safety functions, systems and components, including their software.

Functional safety needs

Functional safety and safety functions are often needed, for example, in the following industries and parts of the society:

  • Process and energy industry
  • Machinery and machine automation
  • Rail traffic, cars and vehicles
  • Avionics, medical devices, electrical appliances etc.

Functional safety and related standardization also affect and set requirements for components used in the systems, and for their manufacturers.

Safety functions

Safety functions consist of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic parts, as well as actuators of other technologies that 

  • measure and detect hazardous conditions or deviations (sensors),
  • decide on the demand for safety actuation (logic) and
  • perform safety actuation, such as safe stopping (actuators).

Safety functions may also implement and require continuous correct operation, as part of electronic control systems, for example.

Safety Assessment

Independent Safety Assessments confirm the safety and compliance of safety functions, processes and components

Why to assess functional safety?

The assessment of functional safety is an activity that is required by many safety standards, with the intention to independently and impartially evaluate and confirm the achieved level of safety and compliance to standards. The required level of independence depends on the level of safety and applied standards. However, conducted by an independent, accredited organization, our safety assessment services fulfill the requirements of all relevant safety standards, for all levels of safety.


WE perform safety assessments in close co-operation with our internationally acknowledged partner, SGS-TÜV Saar, but with our local experts in Finland as assessors.

SGS tuv saar logo 

The assessment services are conducted under accreditation from DAkkS, Germany, covering most functional safety standards, including:

  • IEC 61508
  • IEC 61511
  • IEC 62061
  • IEC 61800-5-2
  • ISO 13849
  • ISO 26262
  • EN 50126, EN 50128, EN 50129, EN 50159

SGS Fimko is also a European Union Notified Body for Machinery Directive, as well as for other relevant directives in the machinery domain, including the EMC, PED, and RED directives.

Our services

Our safety assessment services cover the assessments of

  • safety functions and systems,
  • processes and
  • components.

The services are thus suitable for stakeholders and organizations ranging from system integrators and machine builders to component manufacturers. We also assess software parts included in the systems and components. 

Analysis services

Meet your safety targets with analysis and optimization

Safety Analytics

Depending on the project, the design and development of safety functions, as well as hazard and risk analyses preceding the development, may require the use of various techniques such as HAZOP, FTA, ETA, FMEA, FMEDA, Markov analysis etc. The analyses are needed, for example, in the identifying and quantifying of risks, as well as in determining the quantitative safety aspects specific to a safety function and to the achieved level of safety. Examples of typically required metrics include PFH, PFD, HFT, MTTFD, DC/DCavg and SFF.

The analysis services of SGS Fimko are intended for calculating and confirming the achievement of the safety targets and for analyzing and optimizing designs during a project, in order to ensure the achievement of the targets. Depending on customer needs, we can conduct analyses based on provided design material, or participate in customer workshops as external experts.

SGS training

SGS training will ensure the competences of your personnel in critical development tasks

Our training services

Our training services are intended for providing and improving the understanding over key aspects, concepts and practices of functional safety and machinery safety, which are a necessity to succeed in the planning and management of functional safety. The trainings also serve to demonstrate the competence of the trained personnel, in compliance to standard requirements.

The basic training modules are lectured in co-operation with our internationally acknowledged partner, SGS-TÜV Saar, with use of the same proven training material throughout Europe. Our generic study modules include a written examination and are awarded with a personal certificate.

  • IFSP- Industrial Function Safety Professional (safety automation and software safety, IEC 61508)
  • MFSP - Machinery Functional Safety Professional (ISO 13849, Machinery Directive etc.)

Trainings and workshops can be also tailored for customer needs, for example, related to techniques and measures needed in the development work, including software development.

We inform our customers and colleagues actively about our planned trainings, which can be also found from SGS Finland front page. We are also happy to answer any wishes, questions, and inquiries about training needs that you may have.

Other expert services

Other expert services facilitate the achievement of the set safety targets and objectives

Base your decisions on analysis and experience

We also offer our functional safety customers other expert and advisory services, to facilitate decision making as well as for interpreting standard requirements. Examples of aspects with which we can help include

  • alternative approaches and solutions in design and development, taking into consideration the intended use and further development of the system
  • specification of diagnostic functions as part of safety system design – from the diagnosing of electronics to the diagnosing of safety functions
  • optimization of designs, based on analyses and experience on safety system development
  • safety planning and software safety

Contact us

For more information on our Functional Safety services, please contact:

Esa Laine
Machinery Safety Specialist