Guideline for Applying Functional Safety to Autonomous Systems in Mining

This guideline provides a common approach to applying functional safety to autonomous systems and references international standards within the context of the mining industry and its current maturity. It also describes clear expectations for the communication requirements to support change management and effective application. It begins by identifying important reference materials and listing standards that are relevant to applying functional safety to various aspects of autonomous systems

The core content of the guideline is an example of a functional safety lifecycle for applying autonomous systems in mining. It identifies some key expectations and responsibilities for providing information, documentation, and support at each stage, considering both the product and application lifecycles. Lifecycle stages covered in the guideline are:

  • Concept and scope
  • Planning
  • Hazard identification and risk assessment
  • Other risk controls
  • Control identification, specification, and requirements
  • Design/possible design modifications
  • Installation and commissioning
  • Validation
  • Operational readiness
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Change management

This guideline also offers high-level guidance on other relevant topics:

  • Software development, verification, and validation: architectural, lifecycle, and development considerations
  • Competency management: potential competency requirements, recommended steps for successfully implementing a competency management plan
  • Cybersecurity: general high-level recommendations and suggested further reading
  • Assurance documentation: recommendations of potential documentation shared between the product supplier and mine operator
  • Non-deterministic systems: acknowledgement of how functional safety management differs when it comes to non-deterministic systems