e-permits is the UK’s first and leading web-based permit to work software and work authorisation system. The past year has seen its continued modularisation to enable new clients to absorb value in line with available budget and implementation resources.
This post describes this new e-permits modular solution in detail.
It consists of 4 Core Modules plus additional Functional Modules to enhance the user experience of the system.
The 4 Core Modules are:
- e-permits Permit Workflow
- e-permits RAMS Compliance
- e-permits Contractor Compliance
- e-permits Worker Compliance
e-permits Permit Workflow Module
This is the foundation module within e-permits. It only manages the Permit Workflow process and effectively digitises a paper process. Contractors raise permits to work in specific locations consisting of a Work Access/Authorisation to Work permit plus any High-Risk permits required for the task. Once submitted, workflow with the module circulates these permits electronically to the appropriate Technical, Health & Safety, Security and Business approvers. Permits can then be approved, printed, issued and closed using the e-permits workflow.
Compliance checks are not carried out in the e-permits Permit Workflow Module. The system assumes that the client will conduct the appropriate compliance checks on:
- Contractor company credentials (manually or using the e-permits Contractor Compliance Module)
- Training and competency of all workers – internal and contractors – (manually or using the e-permits Worker Compliance Module)
- RAMS approval for all work (manually or using the e-permits RAMS Compliance Module).
e-permits RAMS Compliance Module
The e-permits RAMS Compliance Module enables RAMS to be submitted for approval through the system and distributed to the appropriate technical authorities for approval through a managed workflow process.
RAMS documents can be uploaded to e-permits such that the RAMS can be inspected at all stages of the Permit Request, Permit Approval and Permit Issue process. RAMS need to be approved before a permit can be submitted. RAMS are also available electronically when permits are issued so that the Competent Person on the Contractor team has a copy of the RAMS with them while they undertake the work. They are, therefore, unable to deny any liability for not conducting the work in the specified, safe manner.
With the RAMS Compliance Module enabled, e-permits checks that there are Approved RAMS in the system and that they are applicable to the work being done and the location where the work is being done. IF THERE ARE NO APPROVED RAMS FOR THE WORK IN THE SYSTEM THEN THE PERMIT REQUESTOR IS UNABLE TO SUBMIT THE PERMIT REQUEST. RAMS have to be submitted for Approval first and they have to be Approved before the Permit Request process can be resumed.
e-permits Contractor Compliance Module
The e-permits Contractor Compliance Module enables a range of company compliance checks such as: Insurance cover and whether or not the Contractor is certified to undertake certain work, e.g. Asbestos related work. Compliance checks are carried out when the contractor raises a permit and warnings are provided if there are any problems.
For example, if a Contractor had an out of date Insurance Policy in the system, they would be warned that they will need to provide evidence of the new Policy before they can commence work. Ideally they should do this through the system prior to turning up to do the work. However, if they do not do this, the Permit Issuer will be warned at Permit Issue that they need to see updated Insurance documents before work can proceed. e-permits then provides an electronic audit trail confirming that new documents are in place.
Documents can be uploaded so that spot checks can be carried out against the records input by the Contractor.
e-permits Worker Compliance Module
The e-permits Worker Compliance Module introduces a range of compliance factors such as Training, Competency and Inductions to check whether or not a worker (Contractor or Internal) is properly trained and qualified to undertake specific work. Compliance checks are carried out during the process of a Contractor raising a permit (or when an internal AP raises a permit, e.g. Isolations). A permit cannot be submitted for approval if there are any training and competency related non-compliances.
Inductions are monitored in e-permits. If a worker on a Permit Request does not have the required site induction, then this does not stop the permit submission process. Instead, the Requester is warned than an individual needs to complete a site induction before any work can start.
Inductions can be completed in e-permits (see the Functional Module – Video Induction) or on site when workers turn up. Permit Issuers are warned if anyone on a permit has not completed an induction. They are prompted to go through an audit trailed process by clicking and acknowledging when the Induction has been completed. The e-permits record for that worker is then updated.
Documents can be uploaded so that spot checks can be carried out against the Training, Competency and Induction records input by the Contractor.
e-permits has a suite of Functional Modules to enhance the user experience and the functionality of the system.
e-permits can provide a completely paperless permit process by enabling electronic signatures on the permit documents generated by the system. Signatures for permit issue by an Authorised Person, permit acceptance by the Contractor, permit return by the Contractor and permit closure by an Authorised Person can now be done electronically on the permit pdf documents. Permits with signatures can be made available for print or email at all stages so Contractors, if challenged, can show signed, approved and issued permits.
In addition, the Electronic Signatures functionality enables the Safety Checklists on High Risk Permits to be completed. This means that key tasks can be carried out at the point of work and the permit status updated live.
With Electronic Signatures enabled clients still have the ability to print permits to a pdf so that a paper version can be produced if this is a requirement for any sites.
Induction Videos and Test
e-permits enables Site Inductions to be undertaken electronically. This means that workers can undertake the required Induction before coming to site and reduce time wasted before commencing work.
e-permits can host a generic Site Induction video that can be accessed from the e-permits Login page.
System users who are required to undertake an Induction are emailed a limited life “token”. They do not need to login to e-permits – on selecting the “Watch Video” button at the login page they input the token which then identifies the worker to e-permits.
The media package can be a Video, PowerPoint or other document types and thee system can hold a number of questions in a list. When the media has run, the system will randomly select a user defined number of questions from the list and the inductee must pass a defined number of questions to be deemed to have passed the induction process.
Once the User has passed their Induction, their record in e-permits is automatically updated with the date that the induction was passed and the site induction expiry clock is reset. When that time has passed (e.g. 1 year) then the User will be required to repeat the process and update their record.
The e-permits PPE Module enables clients to configure their own list of required PPE by task type.
PPE can be selected at different stages of the Permit Lifecycle:
- at the Permit Request stage where the Contractor specifies what PPE they intend to bring to site to conduct the work,
- at the Permit Approval stage where the AP can either specify what PPE is required for the task, or they can add to any list that the Contractor may have provided in the Permit Request process,
- at the Permit Issue stage where the AP may want to add further items before the permit is issued and work can commence.
In the Permit Issue process the issuer, therefore, has the ability to double check that the correct PPE has been brought to site/issued before the permit is issued and work can commence.
Tenant Permit View
Clients that manage buildings with multiple tenants sometimes want the tenants to be able to have a view of what is happening in the Tenant demise so they can view not only the work they have engaged, but also that engaged by the FM company and which impacts their demise.
This module enables the Tenant, when they login to e-permits, to be able to view all permit activity in their demise whether or not it has been requested/approved by themselves.
Automated Permit Shift Splitting
Clients that have internal rules that limit permits to single shifts have always had the complication that Contractors would need to know this and then ensure that they raise a separate permit for each shift during which they will be working.
To avoid this, e-permits can automatically split permits (create multiple permits) for any activities that cross shift boundaries. The requestor just states the times that they will be working on a particular job and the system checks if this is all within one shift or if it covers multiple shifts. If it is multiple shifts, then e-permits automatically creates the additional permit for each shift.
Automated permit shift splitting applies to all types of permits within the system.
The e-permits Asbestos Module is provided Free of Charge to all clients who require this functionality. This link provides a detailed description of this module using a video demo.
The e-permits Document Library Module provides a library facility for managing a range of permit-related H&S documents and media, such as:
- Activity Guidance Notes/Toolbox Talks – for activities such as Hot Works, Working at Height, Working in Confined spaces etc.
- Risk Assessment Templates – store all of your templates so that you can write and configure any specific RA’s quickly and easily.
- Audit/Questionnaire Library – keeping additional documents such as walk-arounds, completing Safety Precautions checklists or simple job completion audits once they have finished.
This module enables the system to log activity in local time for any international sites, hold financial information (e.g. Insurance values) in local currency, and to present this information in the right format for all users. The international module does not provide any multilingual capability for the system.
SSO (Single Sign On) Module
Some customers require the ability to be able to bypass the login process for e-permits if they are accessing the system through their Intranet or through another Management System such as CAFM. The SSO Module enables this for systems that conform to SAML 2.0 format for authentication and authorisation of data.
Custom Permit Templates
Customers that require their existing permit templates to be replicated in e-permits can have these configured as a Service. Banyard Solutions will require copies of the customers permit templates so we can reconfigure the existing permit templates in e-permits to the new required format.
The pdf outputs of the resultant permits can be configured in any language. However, the customer is responsible for providing the local contextual language required on a permit.
That’s quite a long post to digest. For any questions and/or to discuss how modular e-permits can support your business then please do not hesitate to contact us.