IEC 61784-3-8:2021 specifies a safety communication layer (services and protocol) based on CPF 8 of IEC 61784 1, IEC 61784-2 and IEC 61158 Type 18 and Type 23. It identifies the principles for functional safety communications defined in IEC 61784 3 that are relevant for this safety communication layer. This safety communication layer is intended for implementation in safety devices only. NOTE 1 It does not cover electrical safety and intrinsic safety aspects. Electrical safety relates to hazards such as electrical shock. Intrinsic safety relates to hazards associated with potentially explosive atmospheres. This document defines mechanisms for the transmission of safety-relevant messages among participants within a distributed network using fieldbus technology in accordance with the requirements of IEC 61508 (all parts) for functional safety. These mechanisms may be used in various industrial applications such as process control, manufacturing automation and machinery. This document provides guidelines for both developers and assessors of compliant devices and systems.