Health and safety policies are standard in all workplaces for ensuring the well-being of workers and the smooth operation of any job, regardless of the level of risk involved. However, there are certain occupations that carry a much greater level of risk, even with standard safety measures in place.
To mitigate these risks and ensure a safer work environment for personnel in hazardous conditions, permit-to-work (PTW) systems are put in place before any work can be carried out.
In this article, we will be exploring a comprehensive guide to permits-to-work, why they’re important for critical industries, and how to manage them effectively.
What is a permit-to-work (PTW)?
According to HSE, permits-to-work (PTW) are documented procedures used to control high-risk activities.
They are usually issued by a manager or supervisor and set out the precautions required to complete work safely, based on a risk assessment.
These permits authorise certain staff members to carry out high-risk work at a specific time and place, providing that the procedures detailed in the permit and any referenced documents are followed.
What is a permit-to-work used for?
A permit-to-work is used to identify the following areas:
- What will be done and how it will be done (method statement/work procedure).
- The hazards involved.
- The preparation necessary.
- The precautions or protective measures to be taken.
- The work procedures.
- Authorising certain people to carry out specific work within a specified timeframe.
- Declarations from the people authorising the work, carrying out the work and all involved in the work task/project.
- A declaration from the permit originator that work has been completed or the equipment/machinery etc. being worked on is ready for normal use.