Why use software to manage Work Permits?

Steve McBride  |    Jan 8, 2022  |    6 min read

TABLE of contents

    The Permit To Work system (PTWs) authorizes, approves and manages the workflow of non-standardized construction, maintenance, inspection or repair activities that pose a potential risk to personnel, damage to equipment or facilities, disruption of operations or harm to the environment.

    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.

    Paper-based systems can pose a number of inherent inefficiencies and issues that increase the risk of projects not adhering to safety regulatory standards. Paper-based systems do not offer “real-time awareness” of changes and updates that occur. They provide opportunities for errors and omissions to creep into the process, increasing the likelihood of delays and miscommunications, which could have disastrous effects on a hazardous job.

    Why use software for work permit management?

    REASON 1

    Enhance Risk Identification and Safety

    Software can be set up to guide users through the data capture and reporting experience, which can enhance the performance of a given process. In the example of work permits, which are designed with the purpose of identifying and mitigating safety risks, software can provide on-demand instructions for a given type of risk.

    You can also use conditional logic to reveal certain fields and information based on a user selection. As a result, software might help to uncover a risk that otherwise would have been missed.

    REASON 2

    Reduce Errors and Omissions

    The most obvious advantage of digitized solutions is that they can contain rules and functionality that reduces the chance of errors creating miscommunications and increasing the risk of injury. Software can include feature that ensure the appropriate information is captured every time, including:

    • Required fields
    • Dropdown menus
    • Conditional logic
    • Automated date/time/location stamps
    • On-demand video instructions
    • And so on …

    REASON 3

    Increase Efficiency and Save Time/Costs

    While safety is the primary concern of work permits, increasing efficiency and productivity and saving money is a major objective of most organizations. Software reduces the “back-and-forth” required and automates communications between stakeholders. Required documentation can be made available on demand, and the required “paperwork” is only a click away. As a result, the work permit approvals process is completed more quickly and with fewer disruptions.

    REASON 4

    Real-time Awareness

    A major benefit of the Work Permit process in general is that it ensures all stakeholders are aware of potentially dangerous work occurring.

    Paper-based processes have an inherent “time-lag” however, where updates to processes do not immediately become apparent to everyone involved in a project. This is especially true in situations where a control center might be miles away from the work being completed.

    Software allows for updates to provide notifications to stakeholders and for reports to be updated automatically, which ensures everyone is on the same page and potential issues are less likely to be overlooked.

    REASON 5

    More Clarity for Compliance

    Software allows for reporting to be automated. Set it up once and the software ensures that data automatically updates your reports, graphs and charts. This saves a lot of administrative time and ensures compliance records are kept up to date. This is especially true for organizations with multiple sites over multiple geographic regions.

    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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