Guidance on safe design of non-safety critical systems

Here's a very good question I've just been asked. For those of us who work in safety critical electronic / programmable designs we have nice clear guidance / standards in the form of IEC 61508 and its derived standards on managing the safe design. But what guidance is there for designers of electronic / programmable systems whose core function is NOT safety related, so it would be over the top to apply 61508 etc, but they could still create some sort of hazard if they were not properly designed? So they should probably be applying a safety V lifecycle at least as a thought process, to make sure that they've thought about the standards that should be applied and any additional safety requirements that should be put in for any residual risks. But how do they know that?

So taking e.g. computer monitor design (just because that's what I'm looking at right now!), if you're designing a new type of monitor, is there a guidance document that takes you through the process of thinking "what hazards might there be? Electric shock, EMC, glare" (I'm making this up by the way so don't shoot me if the example's slightly wrong!) "Ok, we've got standards for the first two, but not for the third, what requirements should we set for that?" "Ok, the designs done, have we met those safety requirements?"

Does anyone know of any good guidance documents etc? Particularly for systems involving software.

    tagging you as I thought you might have some good ideas.

I can appreciate that point of view of the person who originally asked this question (they asked a friend who asked me), I spent the first 10 years of my career designing non-safety critical systems, and the next 30 working on safety critical systems, and there's lots of things I could now tell my 25 year old self!



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