A Permit to Work system is a formally documented safe system of work designed to prevent accidental injury to operators and damage to plant, premises, and product where work with a probably high level of risk is to be undertaken. Such a system is operated, for instance, where people may be entering confined spaces, using highly flammable substances or working on electrical systems A Permit to Work is a document that sets out the work to be done and the precautions to be taken. It predetermines a safe procedure and is a clear record that all probable risks have been considered in advance and that all precautions are specified and taken in the correct sequence. It does not, in itself, make the job safe but is dependent for its effectiveness on trained persons undertaking the work conscientiously with a high degree of supervision and control-permit to work definition.
Classification of Work Permits:
The decision to operate a Permit to Work system is dependent on the risks inherent in the work involved. Typical Permit to Work situations includes:
i) entry into confined spaces, closed vessels and vessels containing agitators:
ii) work involving the breaking of lines or the opening of the plant containing steam, hazardous substances, such as chlorine and ammonia, hot substances or vapors, gases and liquids under pressure;
iii) work on electrical systems;
iv) welding and cutting operations in areas other than workshops;
v) work in isolated locations, locations with difficult access or at a high level;
vi) work in the vicinity of, or requiring the use of, highly flammable, explosive or toxic substances;
vii) work resulting in possible atmospheric pollution of the workplace;
viii) certain fumigation activities using potentially hazardous chemical substances in the form of a gas, mist, fog, vapor or dust; and
ix) work involving contractors in any of the above activities.
Permit to Work Procedures:
The permit-to-work procedures are a specialized type of safe system of work under which certain categories of high risk-potential work may only be done with the specific permission of an authorized manager. This permission (in the form of the permit-to-work) will be given only if the laid-down precautions are in force and have been checked.
The permit document will typically specify:
●What work is to be done;
●The plant/equipment involved, and how it is identified
●Who is authorized to do the work;
●The step which has already been taken to make the plant safe;
●Potential hazards which remain, or which may arise as the work proceeds
●The precautions to be taken against these hazards;
●For how long the permit is valid-OSHA hot work permit.
●That the equipment is released to those who are to carry out the work. In accepting the permit, the person in charge of doing authorized work normally undertakes to take/maintain whatever precautions are outlined in the permit. The permit will also include spaces for;
●Signature certifying that the work is complete-excavation permit.
●A signature confirming the re-acceptance of the plant/equipment.
Permit to work forms should be printed in triplicate, self-carboned, and serial numbered, with different colors for the original, first copy, and second copy. Distribution should be thus:
a) The original – person undertaking the work;
b) First copy – a person responsible for the area/department where the work is being carried out.
c) The second copy is retained by the originator. On completion of the work and final clearance of the Permit to Work, the original and first copy is returned to the originator-permit to work training.
A record of Permits to Work issued should be maintained. This provides useful feedback for the future design of safe systems of work, specification of plant and equipment, and in the identification of training needs. Completed permits to work should be retained for not less than two years.
Staff involved in the implementation of Permit to Work systems should receive thorough training prior to operation of the same. Competent supervision is also necessary to ensure all stages of the operation are completed according to the details outlined in the Permit and any supporting documentation, such as isolation checklists.
Principles of Permit to Work System:
●The Permit to Work must provide concise and accurate information about the work to be undertaken, the period of time in which the work must be completed, and individual responsibilities for the various stages of the operation.
●It must be considered as the principal instruction and, until the permit to work is canceled, it overrides all other instructions. ●No one must, under any circumstances, work at a place or on equipment not indicated as safe in the Permit to Work.
●No one must carry out any work which is not indicated and described in the Permit to Work. Where a change in the work program is indicated, the Permit to Work should be amended by the originator or, preferably, canceled, and a new Permit to Work issued-btw training Only the originator, for instance, a senior manager, may amend or cancel the Permit to Work-general permit to work.
●Anyone taking over responsibility for the operation of a Permit to Work system, either as a matter of routine or in an emergency situation, must be the adequately briefed-Ptw system
●The person accepting the Permit to Work is, from that moment, responsible for the safe conduct of the work within the limits of the Permit to Work. He must make himself fully conversant with its terms and requirements, and must give sufficient instructions to persons working under his control-work permit system.
●The boundary or limits of the working area should be clearly defined.
◆Special care must be taken to ensure that contractors, who may be engaged to undertake specific tasks, are included in the Permit to Work system. Contractors’ employees and other persons may be completely unaware of the nature of any particular risks inherent in a process plants, inexperienced in the use of safety equipment, and ignorant of safety and rescue procedures. Such persons must be trained in the procedure and instructed in the risks prior to commencing activities. Management should make the observance of safety rules and procedures, including the operation of, and participation in, Permit to Work systems, a condition of the contract for the work, underwriting this with training, advice and staff assistance where necessary READ MORE