EN 17206

Functional safety standard for the entertainment industry

Functional safety standard for the entertainment industry

Functional Safety Framework for the Entertainment Industry

EN 17206 is the functional safety standard for the entertainment industry. Released in 2019, is the first standard defining a framework for functional safety specifically for the entertainment industry. The standard covers machinery for stages and other production areas such as theatres, exhibition halls, and studios. 

Examples of the machinery covered include:

  • Lighting bars
  • Movable lighting towers
  • Stage elevators
  • Point hoists
  • Tiltable stage floors
  • Revolving stages

As is typical in functional safety standards, EN 17206 is a risk-based standard. However, one of the core elements in EN 17206 is the “Use Case” approach describing parameters about how the equipment is used. Based on these Use-Cases, several design requirements, especially for the control system, can be derived. The table below is an example of the recommended Safety Functions for various Use Cases.

UC: Use Case

Upper Machinery Recommended Safety Functions and Measures 
Safety Function UC1 UC2 UC3 UC4  UC5 UC6
Emergency Stop: Category 0 or 1 HR HR

 HR

(Cat 1)    

HR

(Cat 1)    

HR 

(Cat 1)   

HR

(Cat 1)   

Stop on “Deadman” Release:
Category 0, 1, 2
 HR HR  HR HR HR HR
Protection against position deviation      HR HR HR HR

HR: Highly recommended

The Use Cases:

Use Case Description System Use
UC1 No-one in hazard zone during moving, SD Load, Speed <0.2m/s Set up a venue
UC2 No-one in hazard zone during moving, SD Load, Speed <0.2m/s Set up a venue
UC3 Person(s) in hazard zone during motion, single axis Scenic motion
UC4 Person(s) in hazard zone during motion, multiple axis Scenic motion
UC5 Moving person(s) suspended, single axis Performer flying
UC6 Moving person(s) suspended, multiple axis Performer flying

Safety Integrity Levels (SILs)

Safety Integrity Levels are defined in most other functional safety standards. However, the determination of SILs can different between different standards, and care should be taken to not confuse them. This becomes even more interesting in EN 17206 as safety standard risk assessments are typically written with manufacturing equipment in mind, and these don’t translate well for entertainment settings. EN 17206, Annex D does however provide an, “entertainment industry calibration”, to help provide direction.

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