Home   |   Technical Articles

Technical Articles

How many parts are there in IEC 61508?


The IEC 61508 standard is a widely used international standard for the functional safety of electrical and electronic systems. It provides guidance and requirements for the development, operation, and maintenance of such systems to ensure that they are safe and reliable. In this article, we will explore the various parts that make up the IEC 61508 standard and discuss their significance.

Part 1: General Requirements

IEC 61508 consists of multiple parts that cover different aspects of functional safety. Part 1, also known as IEC 61508-1, lays down the general requirements applicable to all systems. It defines key terms, outlines the safety life cycle, and introduces the concept of risk assessment. This part serves as the foundation for the subsequent parts of the standard, providing a framework for the entire functional safety process.

Part 2: Requirements for Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-Related Systems

Part 2, or IEC 61508-2, focuses specifically on electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems (E/E/PES). It provides detailed requirements for the design, analysis, and implementation of these systems to achieve the desired level of functional safety. This part addresses issues such as hardware and software reliability, system architecture, and verification techniques. Compliance with Part 2 is essential when developing safety-critical systems.

Other Parts

Besides Parts 1 and 2, the IEC 61508 standard comprises several other parts that cover specific topics or applications. These include Part 3: Software Requirements, Part 4: Definitions and Abbreviations, Part 5: Examples of Methods for the Determination of Safety Integrity Levels, and Part 6: Guidelines on the Application of IEC 61508-2 and IEC 61508-3. Each part delves deeper into its respective area to provide comprehensive guidance for ensuring functional safety.


The IEC 61508 standard consists of multiple parts that collectively form a robust framework for achieving functional safety in electrical and electronic systems. Understanding and implementing these parts is crucial for engineers and organizations involved in developing safety-critical systems. By adhering to the requirements set forth in the different parts, one can ensure that systems are designed, operated, and maintained to mitigate risks and protect against potential hazards.

Contact Us

Contact: Nina She

Phone: +86-13751010017

Tel: +86-755-33168386

Add: 1F Junfeng Building, Gongle, Xixiang, Baoan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Scan the qr codeClose
the qr code