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How to setup a Permit to Work System: Managing Permits to Work

Managing permits to work is about ensuring essential safety materials are communicated and understood by contractors before they start their job / task. This is done using a permit to work system that outlines the job tasks to be completed, hazards to be aware of, timeframe for the job, authorisations and precautions as well as anything else needed for completing high risks work. Setting up a permit to work system allows your organisation to make sure risks are identified and proper controls are put in place for contractor work on site.

Managing permits involves a number of checks and processes. It involves creating a process for risk assessments and permit coordination on site, processes to manage hazards (both existing and new hazards), ensuring work done is scoped and the risk is appropriately categorised and managed.

Real time visibility

A major part of an effective permit to work system is real-time coordination and visibility into work activity on site. take the scenario where two contractors enter a work site or facility and unknown to each other are performing different tasks at the same time and because the permit to work for each contractor wasn't managed, their work both affected each other because there were no controls in place and this resulted in a safety incident. To prevent this, real time visibility into who is performing which tasks, when, where, what risks are involved and what controls are in place can be established with a real time permit to work system. Permits are authorised and issued with the schedule of work specifically checking for clashes with other contractors and other permits to prevent potential incidents from occurring in the first place.

Precautions to be taken

A central piece of a permit to work system is what precautions need to be taken before the job task begins. The permit to work sets out these precautions, specific to the job task itself. Not something that is generic and a one size fits all for the workplace, this is the specific precautions to be taken for the specific job task to be undertaken by the contractor.

An example might be the precautions to be taken that involve hot work and/or is in confined spaces.


Commencement of the job task or work must not begin until the appropriate level of authority has confirmed and approved the Permit for Work. This typically involves a responsible officer giving permission to work in an area requiring a Permit to Work

Managing Permit to Work Forms on Mobile / Tablets

with contractors commonly relying on mobile devices to access and manage everything in their job, its critical to use modern mobile and tablet technologies for your permit to work process. Contractors can access and manage permits from their smart phone or tablet in the field and in real time.

Setting up a digital permit to work system

If you are looking to enhance your permit to work process, try crating an online and mobile based permit to work system:

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What's New 17/07/2024

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