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7 types of permit to work (PTW) in use at the work site

types of permit to work in use

Permit to work is a formal document used to control hazardous jobs that ensures that all workers are safe while working and keeping the hazards under control before the start of the work. 

Follow this link to read more about a PTW procedure.

Here in this article, we have 7 permits to work (PTW) that every worker has to use depending on the job activity.

#1. Cold work permit.

You use a Cold work permit when the activity does not involve hot work. However, operating machinery or doing any other functions at work that do not generate heat is a cold work activity. Any work generating sufficient heat is called hot work. Activities like bending, shearing, drawing and squeezing are under Cold work. 

#2. Hot work permit.

Issuance of a hot work permit is for work that generates heat during the process. Such work activities are welding, cutting, soldering and brazing of tanks, vessels, pipelines and others.  

Welding activities in tanks and vessels have the potential for Flammable atmospheres. So using a Hot work permit will help identify those areas, and such situations that can pose a danger are put under check with the necessary control measures in place.

#3. Excavation permit.

An excavation permit comes during any excavation episode or for an ongoing excavation on site. And such activities include mining and digging the land to build or extract resources from the earth. 

The PTW takes care of the risks involved in the excavation. Hazards of excavation may include falls, being trapped in the trench, the collapse of the walls, and airborne contaminants.

#4. Work at height permit.

Work at height permit is an authorization to work on elevated areas above 2 m. The 2 meter is mainly what the standard said it should be. The activities that involve working at height are when you’re using a ladder, MEWP-Mobile Elevated work platforms, scaffolds, scissors lift, cherry pickers or the use off the ground. 

Working at height activity presents hazards such as falls. Falls contribute to 25 per cent of fatalities in the industry.

#5. Confined space work permit.

Confined work permits are authorized to perform work in a confined space. There are non-permit confined spaces. Those places do not need any PTW for you to access them. 

Confined space poses a lot of danger. And for that, a permit is necessary to control those hazards to prevent harm.

In confined spaces, there are possibilities of toxic atmospheres, the ability of the confined space to engulf persons and asphyxiation. Confined spaces include vents, shafts, sewages, tanks, silos and others.

#6. Chemical work permit.

Some chemicals are hazardous. Aside from the safety data sheets that serve as an additional document to control the use, a chemical work permit is highly needed when handling chemicals. Chemicals can be toxic and corrosive.

#7. Electrical work permit.

This permit is issued when the work involves an electrical source contact with the worker.

Electrically energized circuits can harm an employee if necessary controls are not in place.

In some cases, the lock-out tag-out procedure is deployed in addition to the electrical work permit to prevent any risk to harm. 

What do we have in the permit to work?

The various permits to work that we have listed above have the presence of these items below. They are the content of the work permit template.

  • The PTW type.
  • The location of the work.
  • The description of the work.
  • The hazards of the work.
  • The responsible signatories. For example, Signatories of the HSE manager, plant manager, PTW personel and others.
  • The equipment for the activity.
  • The PPE for the work.
  • Workers who will carry out the task
  • PTW time, duration and closure.
  • Other adjoining documents such as the task hazard analysis and safety data sheet
  • Control measures in place for the hazard

What happens when there is an issuance of a PTW?

When given the PTW, it shows that work has to commence for that particular activity.

The responsible parties must be on alert to ensure that the job progresses in line with what the PTW says. They ought to provide constant supervision and monitoring throughout the work process. 

Situations that can make the PTW be withdrawn or suspended away from the site.

  • There is an emergency when the job is ongoing -Emergencies such as fire, entrapment or medical emergencies involving persons.
  • Blow of a fire alarm.
  • The work presents a more hazardous situation as not been previously captured in the permit to work.
  • When there is an accident which has the great potential to affect the work

Suspension of a PTW is the best thing a worker can do if the above conditions present themselves. Human lives are precious. Therefore, enough measures and carefulness should be in place to ensure a safe worker.

Permit to work closure:

After doing the job, the PTW has to be signed off, closed and returned for documentation.

All workers have to leave the job site in a safe condition with good housekeeping. Also, you restore the work area in its original form, except if the work activity is for a permanent change in the area.

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