Permits Safety


Permits are needed in construction because certain work conditions present hazards during particular activities. These activities must be evaluated and determined to be safe prior to any work taking place. There are various types of permits. A typical group that may be found in construction include — excavation permits, hot work permits, confined space permits, lockout-tag out permits, electrical permits, line break permits, crane permits, heavy/critical lift permits, and there may be others required on your worksite.

There are some general rules to abide by when using permits. First, always inspect the area you are about to work in. Identify fire watches and fire extinguisher locations. Insist that all required signatures are obtained prior to starting work. Look for obvious hazards. Review emergency procedures with all crew members. Make sure all workers are wearing the required personal protective equipment. Inspect your hand tools and check other equipment you may need to use. Follow all visual signs and instructions. Be prepared for the unexpected. Don’t take any chances. Your life and others that work in the area will depend on each member of the crew doing the job correctly. If your permit requires testing, be sure to have the testing done prior to entry.

Lock, tag, and try procedures are a must when preparing for a plant shutdown, equipment shutdown, equipment isolation, or release and control of stored energy. Watch for pinch points when you are blocking lines and closing valves. A permit is usually issued for a specific amount of time, typically one shift. At the end of the shift the permit becomes void or invalid and must be reissued. See your supervisor about who to contact to get a permit reissued. A permit is a document allowing you to do something that involves a hazard of some kind. Follow it to the letter. Permits enable us to have safer working environments.