What is a PTW system and why is it important?

Andy Pritchard  |    Mar 8, 2022  |    4 min read

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    A Permit to Work (PTW) system is a formal documented system, used to control high-risk, nonstandardized activities. They are usually issued by a manager or supervisor and allow a person or group of people to carry out a task, under strict controls.

    Permit to Work is a systematic process designed to identify, communicate, mitigate and control risk in hazardous areas, nonstandard situations and potentially hazardous conditions, such as shutdowns, to prevent accidents.

    Why are PWT Systems important?

    The process basically requires project managers to identify potential hazards and think through how they will be mitigated before the project is initiated. Elements of a PTW form may include:

    • Identify the scope of the project including key stakeholders and timeline
    • Hazard and risk identification
    • Outline action plan to mitigate potential risks
    • Identify workers and confirm training requirements are met

    1) Permit to Work systems are essential to frontline worker safety.

    The process requires stakeholders to think through the potential safety risks and how to mitigate them and review their report with key stakeholders before commencing the work. The process also requires a check to ensure workers on the project are properly trained. This review helps workers be more aware of hazards, which decreases the likelihood of human error and resulting safety incidents.

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    2) PWT systems ensure compliance to regulatory requirements.

    Legal requirements that govern how projects need to be executed can be complex and ever expanding. The PWT process requires stakeholders to review the project plan to ensure that it adheres to regional laws around workplace safety and specific regulations pertaining to the project. This helps to ensure compliance protocols are followed and reduces the risk of failed audits, fines and other penalties.

    3) PWT systems ensure the work is completed correctly.

    Although the primary focus of Permits is worker safety, a secondary benefit is that project managers rigorously think through the project before commencing. This may uncover ways to do the project more efficiently or produce a more beneficial outcome. Additional stakeholders are also brought into the project to authorize and approve the PWT, which gives them a chance to communicate opportunities for improvement to the project plan and better coordinate resources.

    Use customizable templates to ensure workers have the resources they need to complete PTW forms.

    Work Permits

    • Digitize PTW Form Templates
    • Guide staff through the process with on-demand instructions
    • Automate approvals workflows including eSignatures
    • Ensure projects are executed correctly and safely
    • Real-time KPI reporting
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