When to use a Permit To Work

When to use a Permit To Work

Do you know what a Permit To Work is and when it needs to be used? A Permit To Work (PTW) is an important document that outlines the tasks and conditions for safely performing specific types of work. It also covers any control measures or precautionary steps required in order to prevent accidents, injury or dangerous occurrences during high-risk activities. The exact type of PTW needed will depend on the planned activity and the hazards present, but there are general guidelines that can help employers determine when exactly a permit should be applied for. In this blog post, we’ll explore these guidelines so that you can make informed decisions about your safety management plans!

A permit-to-work system is a formal written system that controls certain potentially hazardous work types.

The HSE defines a permit-to-work system as “a formal recorded process used to control work 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.”

When to use a Permit To Work

A Permit To Work (PTW) is a formal written system used to control high-risk activities in the workplace. It is used to ensure that all necessary precautions have been taken and that everyone involved knows the potential hazards and how to manage them.

Here are some examples of when a Permit To Work might be required:

  • Hot work: Any work that involves open flames, welding, cutting, or other sources of heat that can create sparks or ignite materials.
  • Working at heights: Any work that involves working at a height, such as on scaffolding, roofs, or elevated platforms.
  • Confined spaces: Any work that involves entering a confined space, such as tanks, vessels, or silos, where there is a risk of asphyxiation, engulfment, or other hazards.
  • Electrical work involves electrical equipment or systems, such as wiring, transformers, or switchgear.
  • Excavation work involves digging or excavating, such as for foundations, pipelines, or drainage systems.
  • Pressure testing: Any pressure testing that involves high-pressure systems, such as steam boilers, gas cylinders, or pressure vessels.
  • Well intervention: Any well intervention activities, such as wireline operations, coiled tubing operations, or logging.
  • Work on high voltage electrical equipment: Any work that involves high voltage electrical equipment, such as switchgear, transformers, motors, or generators.
  • Work involving temporary equipment: Any work that involves installing temporary equipment, such as generators or welding equipment.
  • Work affecting evacuation, escape, or rescue systems: Any work that affects evacuation, escape, or rescue systems, such as fire sprinklers or emergency lighting.
  • Work at height: Any work that involves height, such as lifting equipment or fixed access platforms.
  • Work involving hazardous substances: Any work that involves hazardous substances, such as chemicals, flammable liquids, or toxic gases.
  • Any work may involve breaking containment of a flammable, toxic or other dangerous substance.
  • Any operation which required additional precautions or personal protective equipment (PPE) to be in place.
  • Any work involving underwater or onshore near water.
  • Mobile plant: Any work that involves using a mobile plant, such as forklifts, scissor lifts, or powered access equipment.
  • Work that may generate sparks or other ignition sources, such as welding, cutting, or grinding, often require a Permit To Work (PTW) to be carried out safely. This is because such work can pose a significant fire hazard, particularly in areas with flammable materials or gases.
  • Work of any type where heat is used includes hot work, welding, soldering and brazing.
  • Work on machinery or plant that may create a dust explosion hazard includes any operation likely to generate dust in powder, granular or other forms. This can include activities such as grinding, sanding and sawing.

The permit should also verify that all necessary safety equipment has been inspected and is in place, such as guard rails, harnesses, helmets and other PPE where required. It should also confirm that the area is cordoned correctly off and that all personnel involved are adequately trained and supervised. Finally, it should verify that necessary permits have been obtained and that proper supervision is in place.

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