Permit to work systems are excellent tools for controlling any non-routine procedures in any kind of workplace. They can be used effectively to manage the safety of contractors and in house workers. Like any health and safety management system they only work well when they are backed up by a culture of safety with full commitment and adequate knowledge. These human qualities are more important than any bit of paper.
A Permit to Work is a formal management system used to control high risk activities. These enable an assessment of risks to be made and to specify control measures which will be put in place in order to minimise the risk. An authorising person issues the permit as a formal permission to start work, having agreed reasonable safety measures. It should be time and space specific with all parties who could be effected by the work, or endanger the workers concerned, considered. A suitable system of safety monitoring should be built into the system. At the end of the work the permit should be signed off by both parties, with assurances that the site has been left safe and tidy. Where a permit covers more than one working day or work session, it should be signed on and off each time the workers come on and off site.
In this question and answer section, Mike Ellerby addresses some of the questions concerning employers about Permit to Work systems, authorised and responsible persons, etc.
A robust Permit to Work System is an important safety management feature for many companies. While this can be clear and obvious with respect to engineering operations (such as in the chemical industry or oil industry) there are many other, less obvious instances, where a suitable Permit to Work System can be effective. Organisations, including those involved with the management of premises, are increasingly relying on contractors. This is true for day to day activities (such as security, cleaning and catering) as well as for the provision of more specialist assistance (equipment and machinery servicing, window cleaning, etc.). With this use of contractors comes a requirement to manage the use of contractors in a safe and professional manner. In certain instances, a part of that control of contractors may involve the use of a Permit to Work System. Continue reading
Working within the consultancy over the past few months I have gained an insight into the world of Health and Safety as it is today, and with this knowledge I have decided to, admittedly briefly, research the origins of Health and Safety in this country and plot it’s development to modern times.
From the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802 to the “Six Pack” regulations of the 90’s, here we go…
The “Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802” was the first Health and Safety legislation to be passed by parliament yet it was extremely limited an d was on the whole only applicable to apprentices in cotton and wool mills. There is also not a great deal of evidence that this legislation was ever enforced.
Health and Safety Q&A
A few questions you need to know the answers to relating to permit to work systems.
Q – What is a permit to work system?
A – Permit to Work is a formal system of controls, using documentation and supervision, that is intended to safeguard the health and safety of workers (and others) involved in particularly hazardous activities. 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 and that all of the risks are assessed and controlled before work starts.