The Functional Safety Terminology Landscape

This white paper, developed by the Functional Safety Standards Committee (FSSC), describes the landscape of functional safety terminology as used across multiple domains. It has been observed that there are multiple definitions for many of the terms–some of which are domain specific–and there is often an assumption that the terms are commonly understood. Some of the definitions have key differences, which could lead engineers to misunderstanding if they apply a definition that is used in one domain to another. This white paper takes an overview of the existing landscape and establishes a subset of terminology for use in future standards sponsored by the FSSC. It discusses the different understandings of the terminologies used and where they differ and defines a single understanding of the terminology for future use. If the context of a future standard requires a deviation from the definition in this document, then the deviation should be explicitly marked and defined and should be flagged to the FSSC for consideration in future revisions of this document.

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