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Permits to Work

A Permit to Work system is a formal written system used to control certain types of work that are potentially hazardous.  A permit to work is a document which specifies the work to be done and the precautions to be taken.

The main purpose of a permit-to-work system is to ensure that proper and specific consideration is given to all the risks of a particular work activity, based on a risk assessment and describes what work will be done and how it will be carried out.  They allow work to start only after safe procedures have been defined and they provide a clear record that all foreseeable hazards have been considered.

The following aspects should be considered with respect to Permit to Work Systems:

  • Human factors
  • Management of the work permit systems
  • Poorly skilled work force
  • Unconscious and conscious incompetence
  • Objectives of the work permit system
  • Types of work permits required
  • Contents of the work permits

There are a variety of different types of permit to work which include, but are not limited to:

  • Hot work permit
  • Disconnection or opening of any closed pipeline or vessel
  • Confined space entry permit
  • Machinery maintenance/entry into machinery or plant permit
  • Isolation permit
  • Electrical work permit
  • Excavation permit
  • Permit for radioactive materials
  • Permit for work over or near deep water
  • Permit for work done on or near overhead travelling cranes or working platform tracks
  • Roof access permit
  • Work at height permit, including work on or from scaffolding or suspended working platform.

There should be at least one Authorised Person to issue Permits to Work. The Authorised Person should be sufficiently senior so as to be able to enforce the Permit To Work system, in accordance with the company’s policy and be aware of, or be able to foresee, the hazards and potential risks involved in the activity to be carried out under the Permit.

The Permit to Work should be issued to a Responsible Person. This Responsible Person should either be the person in charge of the activity to be carried out or should be the person who is actually going to do the work. The permit must be issued to a named person and not to a position or group. This is essential to ensure that responsibility for the control measures is maintained.

OM Safety Solutions Ltd can help you to devise and implement a Permit to Work System suitable for the hazardous work undertaken by your employees or contractors.  This can be based on departmental specific Permits, site specific Permits or across the organisation as a whole.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business remain safe and compliant, or to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.

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