One of the key requirements for a health, safety, and environment (HSE) management plan on construction projects is to have a formal procedure for controlling activities that are considered of high-risk. The Permits to Work process allows authorized personnel to perform those activities at specified times. Requiring a permit to work prevents high-risk work from taking place without undertaking a formal risk assessment using predefined checklists.
Activities that typically require a permit to work include live electrical works, hot works, excavation, lone working, lifting operations, life shaft entry, de-shuttering of formwork, edge protection and floor openings removal, work in confined spaces, work at height, work to roofs, mast climber and cradle, temporary works, demolition, pressure testing, among many others.
Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb enables the HSE management team to formalize the process for submitting, evaluating, and issuing the different types of permits to work as well as keep track of all issued permits and their status. PMWeb custom form builder allows creating a permit-to-work form specific to each type of permit. This is needed as the list of perquisites as well as the general requirements for a permit to work could differ depending on the type of permit.
For example, the Hot Work Permit is needed for activities that can be a source of ignition when flammable material is present or can be a fire hazard regardless of the presence of flammable material in the workplace. Common hot work activities involve welding, soldering, cutting, brazing burning, and the use of powder-actuated tools or similar fire-producing operations outside of designated hot work areas. Therefore, the list of perquisites for a hot permit would even differ from a cold permit where flammable materials are not present and of course, all other types of permits have another list of perquisites.
The Hot Work Permit form header includes details that relate to the project, the company requesting the permit, permit validity, operator, fire watcher, type of hot permit, actual permit start and finish date and time, and other details needed for the Hot Work Permit. The header can include any additional information that the HSE management team believes necessary to better manage the hot permit process. It is highly recommended to standardize the fields that are common to another permit-to-work type including having a predefined list of values to select from. This not only expedites the process of preparing those forms and reduces the chances of entry error mistakes but it also allows the creation of reports and dashboards using the data captured across all those permits.
In addition, the Hot Work Permit form has a list of predefined perquisites that need to be reviewed before issuing the permit. The list of predefined perquisites captures the HSE team’s experience in managing such processes and should always be updated with new items when necessary. The person evaluating the permit needs to check each prerequisite and confirm if it has been done or available by selecting “Yes” or has not been done by selecting “No” or if it is not applicable by selecting “NA”.
The attachment tab allows uploading and attaching all documents and pictures that are relevant to the Hot Work Permit. Those documents and pictured stay stored under their specified file folder in PMWeb document management repository
The workflow captures the evaluation and review steps needed to issue the Hot Work Permit and close the permit when completing the specified scope of work. This ensures accountability when it comes to issuing Hot Work Permits.
The HSE management team can design the Hot Work Permit output form in the exact layout format they desire. In addition to the header and perquisites fields, the form can automatically capture the signature fields details from the workflow steps. Additionally, it can display the list of attached documents at the end of the form.
PMWeb reporting tool allows the creation of a log of the Hot Work Permits as well as all other permits issued on the project. The log summarizes the status of the issued Hot Work Permits and other relevant important details. Another report shows the workflow status of the requested permits to ensure that no delays occur in issuing those permits and during the review and approval stages.
The HSE Management can have a single dashboard that captures the details of all Permits to Work issued on the organization’s complete projects portfolio covering all permit types. The dashboard provides HSE management, the project manager, and other executive stakeholders with details on all issued permits on the project or across the organization’s complete project portfolio.