What does a permit to work mean in EHS?
The permit to work is a document that authorizes a specified number of people to perform specific work at a defined location within a limited time frame. It describes the tasks to be carried out, the associated EHS hazards and the safety measures to be implemented. The document is always signed by the supervisor and the operator, and also used as evidence of the work and checks performed.
What are the elements described in a permit to work?
The permit to work is generally made up of a category of sections in which the user enters the various information about the work to be performed.
The typical work permit must include a list of key information such as:
- Identification of operators: company, team, operators, subcontractors, …
- Location of the intervention
- Description of the work to be performed
- List of EHS risks identified following the preliminary visit
- List of the measures of protection and prevention related to these risks
- The signature of the people in charge: the person who issues the authorization and the person responsible for the work and the operators concerned.
This list is not exhaustive since each company is free to add sections and information specific to their activities and internal procedures.
What are the benefits of the work permit?
The Work Permit system helps companies reduce the EHS risk, ensure compliance with standards and keep record of all interventions requiring a work permit. However, the management of work permits is usually time consuming, and involves repetitive tasks that are oftentimes without added value.
Digitization currently helps overcome those issues, it is a solution that makes the work permit management easier, centralized and standardized process. Companies can ensure that all stakeholders have visibility into the PTW. It has become an essential tool for companies collaborating with external subcontractors.
How does digitized PTW / e-PTW work?
Digitized work permit is a major time saver and a guarantee of efficiency. Thanks to dedicated software, you can capitalize on the database collected. They are used to pre-fill customizable forms, which saves you precious time. The software will reduce the risk of error on data entry and the document version used. You will be able to share the electronic forms that are most of the time accessible on smartphone or tablets, and remotely give authorization to the subcontractor or internal team to start working through an electronic signature that has legal value.
What are the features of a work permit management software?
The main features of a software specialized for work permit are mostly:
- Custom streamlined permit creation.
- Online approval process.
- User rights access and control.
- Real-time data and statistics review.
- Offline mode.
- Camera, voice, GPS, and e-signature enabled.
- Accessible reports and records anytime and anywhere.
- Fully integrated e-Permit to Work System.
The permit to work guarantees the safety and good practice of interventions carried out by your teams or external service providers on your sites. Its implementation is often laborious for your company and especially at the service provider’s level.
The use of a dedicated software greatly facilitates this implementation while guaranteeing a high level of security. The software will be essential, especially if your activity involves the regular intervention of service providers.
The management of work permits is usually just a part of such software, that will allow you to manage other processes such as ISO 45001 certification, identification of risks on construction sites and to report incidents in real time (see application Site Safety).
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