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Procedure for Permit-To-Work

Contractors Knowledge Base


Certain very high risk tasks in construction require special control to ensure they are carried out in the safest manner possible by those most competent to carry them out. Such tasks must be very strictly supervised and various safety precautions such as protective clothing and equipment and emergency measures must be to hand. The work area must be kept clear of all other site workers who must be warned that the work is taking place. This procedure is intended to ensure that all of these conditions are met.

The tasks covered by a permit-to-work are usually those of high risk which require specialised training. Examples of such work are:

  1. Work in confined spaces.
  2. Electrical work especially on high voltage systems.
  3. Hot work such as welding or burning.


Before a permit-to-work situation is put in hand there must be a request for a permit-to-work made to the chief executive or a competent person nominated by him. The request must be granted, a notice of a permit to work published and a permit-to-work issued before work can be allowed to commence, The necessary 'notice of a permit-to-work' and 'permit-to-work' documents must be available together with necessary protective clothing and equipment.


Request for Permit-to-work

The person making the request must complete a request form and hand it to the person nominated to grant permits-to-work. The request must detail:

  • The reference number of the request
  • The name of the person making the request
  • To whom the request is made
  • The exact location of the work
  • Details of the task to be carried out
  • When the work will be done
  • How long it will take

The person nominated to issue the permits-to-work must inform the principal contractor, where appropriate, to ensure the work does not overlap with any other activity and then complete a 'notice of permit-to-work' which should contain details of:

  • The task to be carried out
  • The exact location of the work
  • Any access restrictions to be imposed
  • The exact timing of the work
  • The expected duration of the work

Display Notice of Permit to Work On Site

The notice will then be published on site so that all site personnel are aware of the restrictions to be imposed.

Once this has been done the person nominated will issue the permit-to-work.

Person In Control

The person who is to control the permit-to-work must be competent and fully conversant with the requirements of the work and the safety procedures to be followed. He should also have knowledge of any appropriate emergency procedures, including rescue procedures.

The permit to work must contain details of:

  1. The permit number.
  2. The date and time of issue.
  3. The estimated duration of the work.
  4. The exact work location.
  5. A description of the work.
  6. The anticipated hazards, risks and probable result should the risk be realised.
  7. The precautions to be observed.
  8. Any appropriate test procedures.
  9. Details of any emergency procedures.
  10. An acknowledgment in the form of a signature that the person in control of the work understands the work, the hazards and the precautions to be taken.
  11. A signature of the person in charge of the work when it is completed or partially completed but delayed for some reason.
  12. A signature cancelling the permit to work by the person who issued it.