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When to use a Permit To Work

When to use a Permit To Work
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Permit To Work

A permit-to-work system is a formal written system used to control certain types of work that are potentially hazardous.

The HSE defines a permit-to-work system as “a formal recorded process used to control work which is identified as potentially hazardous. It is also a means of communication between site/installation management, plant supervisors and operators and those who carry out hazardous work.”

A permit to work is a document that specifies the work to be done and the precautions to be taken.

The term ‘permit to work’ refer to the paper or electronic certificate or form which is used as part of an overall safe system of work.

Permits to work form an essential part of safe systems of work for many maintenance activities. 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.

When to use a Permit To Work

Permit to work systems should be considered when it is intended to carry out work which may
adversely affect the safety of personnel, plant or the environment. Work where permits should
be considered:

  • Pressure testing
  • Well intervention
  • Work on high voltage electrical equipment
  • Work involving temporary equipment such as generators or welding equipment
  • Work affecting evacuation, escape, or rescue systems
  • Work at height
  • Work which may involve breaking containment of a flammable, toxic or other dangerous sub-stance
  • Any operation which required additional precautions or personal protective equipment (PPE) to be in place
  • Diving including onshore operations near water
  • Work involving the use of hazardous substances, including explosives and radioactive materials
  • Entry and work within tanks and other conned spaces
  • Work which may generate sparks or other sources of ignition
  • Work of any type where heat is used (flame cutting, grinding)
  • Other potentially high risk operations

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