What is a Permit to Work Form?
A permit to work is a systematic process used to regulate high-risk tasks. The system includes risk assessment, creating safety protocols, communication and oversight to reduce the risks.
A manager usually issues a safe work permit form to allow a group of people to perform a high-risk task under strict controls at a specific time and place. The authorized people must strictly adhere to the procedures indicated in the permit.
Some of the key elements in a safe work permit format include various processes that:
- Determine high-risk areas
- Determine hazardous tasks
- Identify the scope of work and the risks associated with it
- Assign a person to authorize high-risk work
- Ensure that workers and staff receive proper training and instruction
- Cascade protocol to on- and off-site employees every day
In this article, the following points are explained:
Common Types of Work Permits
When a certain job has the potential of causing injuries or death, a safety work permit form is necessary. Here are the most common types of work permits:
Hot Work Permit
This permit is necessary for operations where the application of heat or the ignition sources to vessels, tanks, and other contraptions may contain flammable vapor. It is also needed in jobs that are at high risk of fire, explosion, or the emission of toxic fumes.
Hot work permits are most commonly used in cutting or welding jobs that use portable gas. They are needed for each area where the hot work is done. For example, a permit is necessary for each area if a contractor has to perform the activity in different areas.
Cold Work Permit
A cold work permit, also called the general work permit, is issued to hazardous jobs that are not covered by other safe work permit forms. However, the definition of cold work may vary from site to site.
Some activities that need a cold work permit are:
- Cleaning that uses chemicals or solvents
- Handling toxic chemicals or substances
- Using resins during blade repair
- Erecting and dismantling of scaffolds
- Heavy lifts, such as crane operation
- Any type of hazardous activity
Energized Electrical Work Permit
The energized electrical work permit is used for jobs that involve pipework or disconnecting equipment that contains high-pressure or hazardous fluids and substances.
The permit contains a section for the qualified person assigned the job. Their responsibility is to assess the task to determine whether it can be done safely. Thus, the responsible person is asked to provide the following:
- A step-by-step procedure that will be done when performing the job
- A description of the safe work practices that will be used
- Results of the Shock and Arc Flash Hazards Analyses
- Shock Protection Boundaries
- Personal protective equipment that will be worn when doing the task
- Protocols in place to restrict unauthorized people from the work area
- Evidence that the job is completed
Confined Spaces Permit
This permit is issued to describe the precautions taken to remove the exposure to hazardous fumes or the oxygen-depleted area before the person is allowed to work in a confined space. The safe work permit form should also indicate that the area is free from dangerous fumes or gases.
Aside from that, it should also indicate the possibility of fumes from residues, oxygen depletion due to oxidation, or the presence of airborne contaminants from nearby sources.
The permit should also specify the safety precautions to protect the enclosed space against possible hazards. It should indicate the personal protective equipment that the workers will use while performing the task.
Breaking Containment Permit
This permit is used in the Oil & Gas industry, where fatal accidents are most likely to happen. The permit ensures that proper planning and precautions are in place when performing the tasks and activities in areas that are at risk of hazardous liquids or gases.
Purpose of a Safe Work Permit
A safe work permit form ensures the safety of workers who are performing high-risk activities. However, safety can only be achieved if the procedures are followed and have health and safety documentation.
For safety permits to achieve their purpose, there should be:
1. Permission to carry out a task
Work permits specify the person who will authorize the job, including the safety and health protocols needed. A manager should sign it before work can begin to ensure that all requirements are met and placed restrictions.
2. Plan for every aspect of the work
Plans and precautions, and emergency requirements should be included in the safety work permit form. The high-risk activity should never start without the appropriate risk assessment in place.
3. Check-ups for every aspect of the job
There should be a detailed description regarding the safety check-ups done before, during, and after the work is done. A thorough check-up will easily show issues or failures in control.
4. Risk assessments and method statements
A detailed risk assessment should be in place to control the risks involved in doing the task. It includes the people involved in the job, the step-by-step process, the permissions each worker has, and the checks carried out. On the other hand, a safe work method statement includes the details of the work procedure that will be performed.
Streamline your Permit to Work System with an App
Paper-based permit to work documents can be time-consuming and inefficient. As a permit to work issuance goes back and forth within your team. A digital application, like Lumiform’s app and desktop software, make this process easier for your company.
Lumiform is a powerful and mobile tool for audits and inspections. You can easily use it on-site and instantly approve permit to work forms for the work in question by sending them immediately to the person. But Lumiform offers you many more advantages in everyday work:
- Use one of the work approval templates from Lumiform’s extensive template library to get started digitally right away
- Use the flexible form builder to easily customize templates with drag-and-drop ease, or create your custom template from scratch.
- Approve work permits electronically via the app on your smartphone or tablet – no more sending documents back and forth.
- Assign corrective actions through the app and track their status through the dashboard.
- Use Lumiform’s analytics feature to uncover areas where errors are more common so you can better identify them.
- All work authorization is securely stored in the cloud and protected from unauthorized access.
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