Checklist For The Assessment Of Permit-To-Work Systems

Checklist For the Assessment Of Permit-To-Work Systems

A permit-to-work system is a process used in industrial and manufacturing settings to ensure the safety of employees. This system requires workers to obtain a permit before starting any job that could potentially be hazardous. This blog post will provide you with a checklist for assessing permit-to-work systems. Using this checklist, you can determine if your company’s permit-to-work system is effective and safe!

This checklist aims to help everyone concerned with the preparation of permit-to-work systems to decide whether a permit-to-work system covers all the points considered essential in this guidance. The checklist is intended for use when setting up a new permit-to-work system or auditing an existing one.


  • Is there a clear policy for risk assessment of high-hazard operational and maintenance activities and their control procedures?
  • Are the objectives of the permit system clearly defined and understood?
  • Is the permit system flexible enough to allow it to be applied to other potentially hazardous work, apart from that which may have been specifically identified when the system was established?



  • Are responsibilities for the following made clear:
    – Management of the permit-to-work system?
    – Permit form design and system scope?
    – Type of jobs subject to permit?
    – Control of contractors?
  • Are the types of work or areas where permits must be used clearly defined and understood by all concerned?
  • Is it clearly laid down who may issue permits?
  • Is it clearly laid down how permits should be obtained for specific jobs?
  • Are people prevented from issuing permits to themselves?
  • Is the permit system recognized throughout the site or installation as essential for certain types of work?
  • Are copies of permits issued for the same equipment/area kept and displayed together?
  • Are there a means of coordinating all work activities to ensure potential interactions are identified?
  • Is there a provision on the permit form to cross-reference other relevant certificates and permits?
  • Are there a means to ensure other people who could be affected by the proposed work give their agreement before the work (or preparations for it) is started?
  • Where there are isolations common to more than one permit, is there a procedure to prevent the isolation from being removed before all the permits have been signed off?
  • If an electronic system is in place, is a valid means available to recover the coordination of work activities in the event the electronic system fails?


  • Does the system provide both for the recipient to retain the permit and for a record of live permits and suspended permits to be maintained at the point of issue?
  • Does the system require a copy of the permit to be displayed at the workplace?
  • Do permits clearly specify the job to be done?
  • Do permits clearly specify to whom they are issued?
  • Do permits clearly specify the plant or geographical area to which work must be limited?
  • Does the recipient have to sign the permit to show that they have both read and understood the permit’s hazards and control measures detailed in it?
  • Do permits clearly specify a time limit for expiry or renewal?
  • Does the permit include a handover mechanism for work that extends beyond a shift or other work period, including work that has been suspended?
  • Is a hand-back signature required when the job is complete?

Training and Competence

  • Is the permit system thoroughly covered during site or installation safety induction training?
  • Are personnel with special responsibilities under the permit system, e.g., issuing and isolating authorities, properly authorized and trained?
  • Do these people have sufficient time to carry out their duties properly?
  • Does the permit system require a formal assessment of personnel competence before they are given responsibilities under the permit procedure?
  • Is a record of training and competence maintained?
  • Do training and competence requirements include contractors with responsibilities under the permit-to-work system?
  • Are individuals provided with written confirmation of completion of relevant training, and are these documents checked before appointments are made within the permit-to-work system?
  • Do authorized issuers have sufficient knowledge about the hazards associated with the relevant plant?

Planning and Implementation

  • Does the permit clearly specify the job to be undertaken?
  • Is there a set of properly documented isolation procedures for use when working on potentially hazardous plant items, and do they provide for long-term isolation?
  • Is there a clear requirement for work being done under a permit to be stopped if site conditions change or any new hazards have arisen?
  • Does the permit contain clear rules about how the job should be controlled or abandoned in an emergency?
  • Does the permit system require any potential hazards at the work site to be clearly identified and recorded on the permit?
  • Does the permit clearly specify the precautions to be taken by permit users and other responsible people?
  • Is there a procedure to identify and monitor tasks that require inhibiting safety devices, e.g., fire and gas detectors, to ensure that contingency plans and precautions are in place?

Measuring Performance

  • Is there a monitoring procedure, or are there scheduled spot checks to ensure that permits are followed?

Audit and review

  • Is there a procedure for reporting any incidents arising during work carried out under a permit?
  • Is the permit-to-work system audited as appropriate, preferably by people not normally employed at the site or offshore installation?
  • Is there a procedure for reviewing the permit system at defined intervals?

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