Permit to work procedure.
The Permit to Work (PTW) system is a management system tool. It offers a proactive approach to the control of work and the prevention of accidents in the workplace.
However, a permit to work is a formal document detailing the type of work to be done and the hazards of the work. And the precautions to be taken to prevent the hazard from causing harm to people and damage to equipment.
Nobody is to start any work in a controlled work system until a permit is written, processed, and issued by the authorized persons to the worker. and for that, a permit is not a mere document to be played with. It is meant to be followed and communicated to relevant parties
I’ve seen works being cancelled because a procedure was not followed as contained in a permit to work.
Reasons for having a permit to work.
Workers are dying day by day while working due to unsafe acts and unsafe conditions in the workplace.
Unlike in their various homes, where we have different conditions that may not pose a great risk. For a worker to be present in a workplace is enough reason to be exposed to harm from hazards.
Also, Inexperience on the job has made some workers not know the hazard inherent in their work. Those who are experienced may show complacency overtime at work. They will tell you that they’ve been into this work for a long time and they can’t get any injury.
However, permit to work checkmates all these excesses listed above when correctly used. It prevents harm and ensures that the worker follows the job steps judiciously and safely while working.
Permit to work issuance.
Issuing a permit is not for everyone in the workplace. There is personnel for it. They are responsible persons that have a concern with matters relating to permits to work.
For instance, if a given contractor is doing a job for a client. The client through their authorizing manager which may be a safety manager /Quality manager/plant manager or plant engineer issues the permit to the contractor representative which may be a permit officer or job supervisor.
Consequently, It must be with the person before the work starts and they have to display it at the worksite.
Permit to work job.
Not all jobs require permits to work. Permit to work is for non-routine jobs which are predominantly high-risk in nature. Routine jobs in high-risk environments require permits as well. The sort of high-risk work that will require a permit system includes
- Confined space entry.
- Hot work –work involving naked flames or the creation of ignition sources.
- Work on a high-voltage electrical system
- Maintenance work on large complex machinery.
- Work on pressure systems.
- Work on operational pipelines.
- lifting operations.
Permit to work sections.
There are five sections in a permit-to-work document. And those sections include issue, receipt, clearance/return to service,cancellation, and extension.
Moreover, other documents accompany a permit to work documents such as task analysis, Risk assessment, and method statement. Safety data sheet (SDS) when there is a usage of chemicals or substances.
Conclusion; Permit to work procedure
Permit to work document is not a mere document. The document itself does not ensure safety. Though it is a piece of paper. The management’s attitude towards it ensures safety.
However, there have been cases where they treat permits to work as unnecessary paperwork. And more so that the client or the management’s body language depicts that. and when authorizing permits, authorizing managers have to ensure that those precautions are in place.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.