e-permits Enhancements – 2019 Year to Date

Neil Hartleye-permits Use CasesLeave a Comment

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Not yet a third of the way through the year, 2019 has already seen a number of exciting feature enhancements to e-permits, our web-based permit-to-work system designed to prevent avoidable incidents.

A big thanks to our Product Management function and Development team for their continued hard work in ensuring that workers work safely and are safe at work.

This post describes those new features briefly and provides a more detailed review of most of them via embedded videos.

Firstly, the enhancements around additional permit types and system modules:

  • Excavation and General Works Permits
  • Electrical and Boiler/Pressure System Permits
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Electronic Signatures

The excavation and General works permits have been added to the suite of permits supported in e-permits and are triggered as a special risk by the person making the permit request (typically the contractor). The system captures all of the special risks associated with the particular piece of work including date/time and the people assigned to do the work.

Those people set up to approve and/or issue the permit can assess whether the risks identified by the Requestor are sufficient and can add to the permit, if necessary, at any stage. The General works permits are typically used for low risk work requiring control such as freezing pipes or work affecting IT systems.

Both the Excavation and General works permits come with default Safety precautions and templates which are configurable.

In terms of Electrical and Boiler/Pressure system permits, seven new permit types have been added:

  • Permit to work – Low voltage
  • Permit to work – High voltage
  • Certificate of Isolation
  • Sanction to test – Electrical
  • Sanction to work on or near Live – Low voltage only
  • Permit to work – Boilers & Pressure systems
  • Sanction to test – Boilers & Pressure systems

The enhancements around PPE are introduced on the ‘Summary of Access permit request’ page. The system shows the permit requestor which special risks they have identified and asks the Requestor to record the PPE they propose using for those risks as well as for site access.

APs and Issuers are shown the proposed PPE in an identical table. If they think that the proposed PPE is insufficient, they can add and save further PPE.

The system will send an email to the Requestor and Competent person to notify them of the additional requirements, so that they can bring it for the work.

Electronic signatures provide the obvious benefits of a totally paperless system via any touch screen device or mouse. Issuers and Closers can benefit from e-signatures with Issuers further benefitting from the e-mail capability that allows them to send a PDF containing the signatures to the Competent person.

The video below demonstrates all of these features.

The final enhancement to cover here is the sanction to work on or near live equipment. Prior to this enhancement, we had a one workflow covering both work on the live electrical equipment as well as work near to the live equipment. With this enhancement, we now have separate workflows for work on live equipment and for work near to live equipment.

The two reasons for now having separate workflow is that, 1) the nature of the work is going to be very different (with different risks etc.), and 2) the competencies required to perform the work are going to be very different. If you would like to see this functionality in action whether you’re a client or potential client please contact us through your favourite channel.

One final point to make is on the topic of competencies. With e-permits, every permit to work is made by the Requestor who at the time of making the request identifies the people who are going to do the work. Based on the special risks identified by the Requestor and subsequently modified/added to by the AP, e-permits always runs a competency check to ensure those workers identified have the current competencies required to carry out the work (after review by the AP). Only then and when all other system checks, such as clash checks, have been completed can a permit to work be issued. This is extremely difficult to 100% adhere to with a paper-based PTW system, particularly when the pressure is on to get the job done and is how and why e-permits ‘prevents avoidable incidents’.

Please stay tuned through the rest of the year as we continue to release additional features to e-permits, the UK’s first and leading web-based permit-to-work solution.

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