The permit to work (PTW) procedure is essential for ensuring the health and safety of employees and contractors performing dangerous operations. A Permit To Work enables someone to perform a task which may involve hazards such as hot work, working at heights, working in confined spaces etc. It describes the risks involved with the activity, the safety measures to be taken, and the procedures to be followed in order to execute the task securely.
Integrating the Permit to work process with other corporate health and safety risk assessment tools can help to further improve safety.
1. Risk evaluation and identification
One of the main advantages of incorporating risk assessment software with the PTW system is that it aids in identifying and evaluating potential risks related to a particular task. A risk assessment template that lists the risks connected to the work, the possibility of the risk happening, and any potential repercussions can be provided by the software.
With this knowledge, employees and contractors may recognise potential risks related to their work and take the necessary actions to reduce the risks. This can lessen the possibility of mishaps, injuries, and fatalities.
Generally the two processes work hand-in hand – a PTW usually includes Risk Assessments but a risk assessment may also raise actions which require a PTW to be created – so it’s helpful if both PTW and Risk systems can talk to each other. It is also important that the systems are flexible enough to accommodate changes – it’s very likely that once work has started on a permitted task the RA could change as new issues are encountered – especially for longer tasks.
2. Increased dialogue
Having a formal process for risk assessment will encourage communication between stakeholders and lessen the possibility of important details being missed. It’s best to hold risk assessments centrally – a central risk register allows risk data to be accessed via the permit to work system or any other process which requires it.