Permits to work are a formal management system used to control high risk activities. These enable an assessment of risks to be made and to specify control measures which will be put in place in order to minimise the risk.
Permits to work will usually be necessary for such activities as maintenance or construction work by external contractors or University staff, unless a risk assessment indicates otherwise.
Examples of the types of work for which permits will be required include:
- Working at height, including on roofs
- Working in confined spaces, for example, ducts
- Hot work. That is welding, soldering or cutting using hot flame techniques outside of designated workshop area.
- Isolation of or modification to fire safety systems, alarms, etc
- Live working on electricity supply systems
- Work involving interaction with asbestos
- Work in areas where there is a risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals or microorganisms.
- Excavation and the digging of trenches.
The intention of the permit to work is to:
- Ensure that the work which is intended to take place is properly authorised
- Clarify the nature and extent of the work
- Specify which precautions must be taken and which activities are prohibited. Consideration should also be taken of the activities of other parties which may impact on or be affected by the proposed work. These activities may need to be temporarily suspended or modified.
- Indicate the date, time and location that the specified activities may occur
- Ensure that all those persons who have control of or are affected by the activity are aware
- Provide a record of the work, that the specified precautions have been understood and enacted, and that the workplace and or equipment is returned to a safe condition.