Manage especially hazardous, complex or non-routine tasks
A permit to work is a formal process used to manage special hazardous, complex or non-routine tasks, with the aim of completing them without risks to the safety and health of employees and others, or to the environment.
The process is used to authorise work within the terms explained in the permit. It will also help all different parties involved, to communicate and agree on
You should consider the use of a permit to work for high risk activities that could affect the safety of people, the plant or the environment and which require additional precautions for the work to be carried out safely.
Permits to work are normally used for work that is not part of the routine or normal production of the workplace, such as maintenance, inspections, testing and cleaning. Also for work where different parties need to coordinate their activities to complete the job safely.
These are some examples of situations when a permit to work might be needed.
The permit to work should reflect the complexity of the job that it is created for. It should include, as a minimum the following details.
The permit should be signed by the person with authority within the organisation. This should be done when it has been confirmed that all precautions have been taken and the task can commence safely.
It should also state the date and the duration of the validity of the permit, and therefore when the job needs to be carried out.
You can read more about permits to work at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
The permit to work in petroleum industry (external link) document from the HSE explains a permit to work procedure. It’s aimed at the petroleum industry but the basic ideas and principles can be applied to other industries.
For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team