Delivering Contractor Compliance with e-permits (part 2 of 2)

Neil Hartleye-permits Use CasesLeave a Comment

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Part 2 – Issuing the Permit to Work Request, Dynamic Risk Assessments, and the Closing Process

Part 1 of this 2 part post looked at the permit-to-work request and approval process. This post looks at the issue process through to the close process beginning with the contractor arriving on site.

Example permit issue workflow process

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e-permits manages the whole process beginning with ascertaining if the contractor is on the list for work to be undertaken that day. If not send the contractor should be sent away, they need to turn up on the specified date at the specified time.

If they are on the list, are the people on the permit the people who have shoed up to do the work? If not and it does happen, for example, someone could be off sick and has been replaced on the job. e-permits will allow you to change the names on that permit document when they arrive and it will then go through the training and induction checks.

The training check will introduce a hard block if the substitute doesn’t have the prerequisite and current training required for that job. However, if they aren’t current with site induction they can go through the induction in the e-permits system on the spot and then, once they’ve passed, they’re then through the loop and they’re now able to go through and have those permits issued.

Next they’ll be checked to ensure they have the PPE listed on the permit document. This is basically a kit check. Once this is complete the permit can be issued and there are two ways this can be done.

Some clients still wish to retain the paper process so they would go through the process of printing a permit, and having a wet signature process all the way through the line and then, at the end of that process, scanning and uploading the document so you have the archive record in e-permits.

A better alternative is to use electronic signatures on a tablet or a smartphone. First of all the AP signs the permit, then the contractor can sign acceptance of it at the time of issue. That permit can then be emailed to the contractor so that, if they’re challenged on-site, they can show that they have got that appropriate permit document.

At this point the access permit can now been issued. If a dynamic risk assessment is required then the contractor can complete that risk assessment electronically and upload it to the permit bundle for that job in e-permits. If it’s a paper-based dynamic risk assessment then it can be scanned and upload to e-permits at the end of the job.

In a totally electronic permit-to-work process, everything is time-stamped so an audit trail can show that it was actually done at the appropriate time beforehand. If there was no mobile or internet connection at the time, then all the information in the dynamic risk assessment will be cached and uploaded automatically when connectivity is available.

Once the dynamic risk assessments have been done the next part of the process before the contractor can actually start work is to go through the safety checklist which is completed electronically.

Using electronic signatures is particularly useful in today’s climate of working from home, meaning that not all signatories need to be available on-site for wet signatures, but it also has the benefit of enabling electronic safety checklists for tasks such as hot works.

Once those safety checklists are complete, the contractor can now start the work.

When the work is completed, a close process needs to be completed beginning by checking if the work has been completed satisfactorily.

Example Permit Close Workflow Process

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Photographs of the workplace can be uploaded as evidence of work being completed satisfactorily or otherwise. For example, waste material may have been left when the RAMS clearly stated that the waste material should have been removed. Comments can also be added to e-permits as part of the permit close process stating a non-compliance by the contractor.

Once this has been completed, everything is now signed all the way through the process – request, approval, issue, dynamic risk assessment, safety checklist together with any close audit.

Reporting within the e-permits system enables queries such as: “show me how many hot work jobs were done by this contractor at our Head Office in the last 12 months” or, “show me how many work at height permits were issued last year across all my sites in London”. Individual permits can be easily accessed too thereby adding several degrees of efficiency to the predominant function of e-permits which is to ensure people work safely and are safe at work.

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