What is Permit to Work System: 7 Types of Work Permits in the Workplace

By | June 3, 2023
What is permit to work system
What is Permit to Work System?

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Definition of Permit to Work System at Workplace

permit-to-work-system

What is Permit to work system, or the definition of a permit-to-work system must be known to people for safe work practice.

The definition of permit to work system is, Permit to work system is a legal and formal written document used to control certain types of work which are potentially hazardous at the workplace. PTW is also a legal and essential part of a safe system of work moreover it is an agreement between two parties PTW issuer and receiver that work is to be done and required remedial controls to be taken to complete the agreed job in a safe manner.

Permit to Work System is an essential and legal document for doing hazardous work safely in the workplace, it must be displayed in the working area at a visible place, and permit-to-work systems must be communicated among concerned work crews.

PTW must be issued & received only by authorized persons with an agreement between the PTW issuer & receiver that all required control measures are in place to mitigate the existing hazards and work can proceed safely. PTW gives specific details about the nature of work, work location, working period, hazards, and effective control measures.

For obtaining a permit to work, the receiver will have to present all required documents such as the approved method statement & risk assessment (MSRA), PTW receiving authorization badge, workers training records, and certificates of tools & equipment to the permit issuer.

PTW can be canceled at any time if there are major changes in the agreed work or work process.

Types of Permit to Work System:

Types-of-Permit-to-Work-System

According to the nature of hazards, There are 7 types of Permit to Work System in the workplace.

  1. Hot Work Permit.
  2. Cold Work Permit.
  3. Work at Height Permit.
  4. Confined Space Permit.
  5. Excavation Work Permit.
  6. Electrical Work Permit.
  7. Chemical Work Permit.

What is A Hot Work Permit: 

hot-work

People involved in construction and plant maintenance activities must know what is a hot work permit and where to use it.

Here you are going to understand what is a hot work permit, A hot Work Permit is a legal and formal document that gives authorization to people to perform their work involving open flames, sparks, and other sources of ignition such as welding, grinding, flame cutting, brazing, etc, and other similar tasks that generate heat, sparks, or flames. These activities are having high potential to lead the fire and explosion hazards that could be resulted in serious personnel injuries or property damage if adequate precautions are not taken.

The tasks that may require a hot work permit will include:

  • Welding or cutting of metal structures or equipment.
  • Grinding on metal surfaces or cutting metals by using a grinder machine.
  • Heating of equipment and pipelines for quality purposes.
  • Demolition work involving open flames for cutting metal structures.
  • Brazing or Soldering of pipelines and spools etc. 

Cold Work Permit:

cold-work

A Cold Work Permit is also a legal and written document issued by an organization or facility to authorize personnel to carry out activities that do not generate heat or other sources of ignition but pose the potential to cause harm to people, property, and the environment. Personnel involved in these activities must be adequately trained and all other controls must be implemented to safeguard the workers, property, and environment.

The tasks that may require a cold work permit will include:

  • Painting or touch-up paintwork.
  • Scaffolding erection and dismantling work.
  • Manually handling activity.
  • Operating plant or equipment.
  • Lifting a load by using a crane.
  • Maintenance of plant and equipment etc.

Work at Height Permit: 

WORKING-AT-HEIGHT

Work at height permit is an essential authorization to perform an activity on an elevated work platform in a safe manner (2m from the ground). The sources of work at height could be scaffolding platforms, ladders, and Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP).

The tasks that may require a work-at-height permit will include:

  • Working on a scaffolding platform.
  • Working on a roof at more than 2 meters of height.
  • Working on Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP).
  • Working near edges or openings of excavation, and pits.
  • Working on ladders.
  • Working on overhead cranes for crane maintenance.
  • Using access equipment etc.

Confined Space Permit:

confined-space

A Confined Space Permit is also a formal and legal document that gives authorization to people to work inside a confined space with adequate safety control measures.

Confined space means a place that will be partially closed where a person can bodily enter and perform his task. Confined spaces are having limited means of entry and exit and it’s not designed for continuous human occupancy.

Confined space may present a variety of hazards such presence of toxic and flammable gases, oxygen deficiency and enrichment, the presence of harmful dust, excessive heat and humidity, and poor ventilation and illumination which can lead to serious personnel injury or even death if appropriate controls are not taken. A permit-to-work system is very important to control the activities inside a confined space.

The tasks that may require a confined space permit will include:

  • Working inside pipes, ducts & tunnels.
  • Working inside an excavated trench with more than 1.2 meters in depth.
  • Cleaning, repair, or maintenance of sewers & underground utility vaults.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of vessels, tanks & silos.
  • Cleaning of water tanks.
  • Working inside manholes etc.

Excavation Work Permit: 

excavation-work

An excavation work permit is also a legal and written document that provides authorization for personnel to execute the excavation work with the required precautions.

A survey or Inspection for underground utility services must be done prior to conducting excavation work. The risks that might be involved in excavation work include falling into the excavation, people may trap under collapsing wall of excavation, explosions may occur, exposure to hazardous airborne contaminants, etc.

The tasks that may require an excavation work permit will include:

  • Making Trench on the ground manually or using mechanical aids.
  • Digging the pits.
  • Mining work.
  • Landscaping work etc.

Electrical Work Permit:

electrical-work

An electrical Work Permit is a written and legal document that grants permission to authorized personnel to perform their assigned electrical work on a specific equipment or circuit.

The permit is issued with the control measures to secure the equipment with proper safety appliances to prevent electrical accidents and injuries.

The tasks that may require an electrical work permit will include:

  • Installation and maintenance of electrical equipment.
  • Testing and commissioning of the electrical equipment.
  • Modification of the electrical system.
  • Electrical maintenance work etc.

Chemical Work Permit: 

chemical-work

A chemical work permit is also a legal and formal written document that grants permission for people to work with harmful chemical substances with adequate safety measures. Only well-trained & experienced workers must be deployed to carry out activities involving hazardous chemicals and substances.

The tasks that may require a chemical work permit will include:

  • Disposal of hazardous waste from the workplace.
  • Handling, Mixing, and transferring hazardous chemicals at the workplace.
  • Maintenance of equipment where workers have the potential to exposure to hazardous chemicals.
  • Maintaining and cleaning work for chemical storage.
  • To respond in the event of chemical spillage etc.

Contents of Permit to Work System (PTW):

Below are the main contents that must be mentioned in the permit-to-work system form:-

  • Location of work– Exact work location must be clearly mentioned in the PTW.
  • Nature of work– Specific job descriptions must be explained in the PTW.
  • Validity of PTW– The duration of work must be mentioned in the PTW (Start Time & End Time).
  • Hazards– All possible hazards in the job must be listed in the PTW.
  • Control measures- Effective control measures must be listed in the PTW.
  • Requirement of personal protective equipment (PPE) – A list of requirements must be mentioned in the PTW.  
  • Name & Signature of PTW receiver– PTW receiver’s name must be written in the PTW.
  • Name & Signature of PTW issuer– PTW Issuer name must be mentioned in the PTW.
  • Emergency Contact Number.

Responsibilities of PTW receiver:

Below are some key roles and responsibilities of the PTW receiver:-

  • Permit to work receiver is a competent and trained person who has the authority to receive the work permit and supervise the work.
  • Permit to work receiver is responsible for starting and completing the work in a safe manner in the workplace.
  • Permit to work receiver is responsible to do the inspection of the work site with the PTW issuer prior to the start of work in order to ensure the safe work condition.
  • Permit to work receiver is responsible to explain the job, possible hazards, and their corrective measures among his task operatives by conducting a TBT meeting before the start of work in order to start and complete the assigned work safely.
  • Permit to work receiver is also responsible to ensure that his crews are wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) while commencing the job on site.
  • Before closing the permit after work or shift completion, the Permit to work receiver will do the inspection of the work site to ensure that the workplace is left in a safe condition.

Responsibilities of PTW Issuer:

Below are some key roles and responsibilities of PTW issuer:-

  • PTW issuer is a competent, trained, and authorized person from the client side who has legal authorization to issue the PTW.
  • Before issuing a PTW, the PTW issuer and receiver will conduct the work site inspection in order to assess the workplace hazards and identify effective control measures.
  • PTW issuer is responsible to verify all documents submit the PTW receiver like the PTW receiver training badge, method statement, risk assessment, training of workers, etc before issuing the PTW.
  • By doing the site visit, the PTW issuer will ensure that all control measures mentioned in the PTW are being complied with by the job executor.
  • PTW issuer is also responsible to cancel the PTW in case of major changes in the work and work process.

Conclusion:

A permit-to-work system is an essential safety management tool that we use to control high-risk activities in low-risk activities by implementing effective control measures in the workplace. This system ensures that all necessary safety measures have been taken and workplaces and work processes are safe to proceed. And concerned workers are adequately trained and competent in their roles and responsibilities.

There are multiple types of permit-to-work systems that have been designed to address the specific hazards and risks associated with the nature of work and the work process. Always we need to ensure effective compliance of permit to work system in order to reduce the number of accidents in the workplace.

Q1. What is Permit to Work System?

Ans. Permit to work system is a legal and formal written document used to control certain types of work which are potentially hazardous at the workplace. PTW is also a legal and essential part of a safe system of work

Q2. What Are Types of Permit to Work System?

Ans. There Are 7 Types of Permit to Work System;
Hot Work Permit.
Cold Work Permit.
Work at Height Permit.
Confined Space Permit.
Excavation Work Permit.
Electrical Work Permit.
Chemical Work Permit.

Q3. What is A Hot Work Permit?

Ans. A hot Work Permit is a legal and formal document that gives authorization to people to perform their work involving open flames, sparks, and other sources of ignition such as welding, grinding, flame cutting, brazing, etc, and other similar tasks that generate heat, sparks, or flames.

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