Permit to Work Systems

Permit to Work Systems 

Short safety talk on the permit to work system. The system of issuing Permits to Work was first introduced in high-risk industries, like mining and Petrochemicals. The improvement in safety was so marked that the practice has been extended to all industries, where a task involving a special risk is to be undertaken.

Author: Star Refrigeration


                                                                                                            Permit to Work Systems

o Roof Work
o Trench Work
o Hot Work
o Confined Space Work
o Work near or above deep water
o Work in radiation ‘controlled areas’

There is no particular legislation that requires a Permit to Work system. It is simply a good
way of ensuring a strictly controlled Safe Place of Work and a Safe System of Work in difficult

A Permit to Work system also allows supervisors to keep a check on what is happening
by limiting the issue of Permits to what can actually be supervised.

A Permit to Work will often be accompanied by a Method Statement stating how the job is to
be carried out.

A Permit to Work ensures that:

1. The task to be done is clearly stated.

2. All potential hazards have been considered and the risks assessed.

3. Measures appropriate to eliminate or control the risks have been put in place.

4. The date and time when the work will be commence and work duration is agreed.

5. The person(s) to execute the work are clear about the task involved, and the safety precautions to be observed.

6. The authorising person is satisfied about the safety of the task and method of working.

7. The authorising person is informed , when the work stops and what stage the job has reached  (100% finished; - 50% finished)

8. The authorising person acknowledges being advised in which state the plant is left in (ready to run; disabled, further work needed)


What to do upon receipt of a Permit to Work

1. Check that all sections have been completed, i.e. all hazards have been considered.  

2. Check the date and times when the permit starts and expires. 

3. Permits are issued to individuals, therefore should only be valid for one shift. Circumstances can change while you are away, so a new permit is necessary which includes any new details for your next shift.

4. Check the work location to ensure that no problems have been overlooked. 

5. Check that persons not included on the Permit are excluded from the area by the use of barriers, notices etc.

6. When you are sure everything is in order, sign for acceptance of the permit and commence work.

During the Work

1. Ensure that everybody involved observes all the conditions of the permit.  Do not relax any of the stipulated precautions.

2. Make sure any safety devices like padlock keys or fuse links are safely in your possession.

3. If anything goes wrong or the situation changes notify the authorising person at once.  The Permit may need to be cancelled and a new one issued to cover the new circumstances and situation.

4. If time runs out, stop work and notify the authorising person at once. The authorising person can decide to issue a new Permit or to extend the time.

On Completion

1. Return the Permit to the authorising person and both of you sign it to show that the work is complete and the responsibility is passed back to the authorised person.

For more information visit

Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 11:35 AM