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Independent Protection Layer (IPL)
A device, system, or action that is capable of preventing a scenario from proceeding to the undesired consequence regardless of the initiating event or the action of any other protection layer associated with the scenario. Independent means the performance of the the protection layer is not affected by the initiating event and is not affected by the failures of the other protection layers. The effectiveness and independence of an IPL should be auditable.
Reference: Layer Of Protection Analysis - Simplified Process Risk Assessement, 2001, CCPS, ISBN 0-8168-0811-7