Safety Permit

Last updated: April 22, 2019

What Does Safety Permit Mean?

A safety permit or a safe work permit is an authorization, usually written and on prescribed forms for various reasons. This may include hazardous works, material handling and stowing, occupying a building or a sensitive area, access to certain confined and hazardous spaces that require special protection with an aim to safeguard and protect users, employees in a workplace, or considering the safety of the general public.

Safeopedia Explains Safety Permit

Safety permits or safe work permits are mandatory by law in some districts, or are practiced in some countries, states and industries for the protection of the employees and others from associated hazards. In works or handling and stowing some chemicals and materials, or while occupying some buildings, these permits are essential. This is an administrative monitoring and control procedure to identify and implement a safe work system that was developed and to eliminate or control of hazards.

A safety permit or a safe work permit is usually a written document stating what, exactly, is to be done, the possible hazards involved and the preventive measures to be taken. It is also a written record that authorizes specific work, location for work and time period during which the work is to be done. It ensures that the employees are informed about the hazards and that they take appropriate preparations before they start their work. It functions as an agreement between the issuer and the receiver that the conditions, preparations, precautions and limitations that need to be clearly understood before work begins.

The following are examples of work and conditions of work that generally need a safety permit or a safe work permit:

  • Entering into a confined space such as tanks, reservoirs, drainage systems, etc.
  • Entering into a flammable, fireworks or explosive hazard area
  • Electrical work involving high voltage
  • Handling and stowing hazardous materials, radioactive materials and chemicals
  • Excavations, earth filling and certain work in marshlands
  • Construction work
  • Hot work such as welding and cutting
  • Lockout tagout systems
  • Use and occupying buildings

A safety permit or a safe work permit generally states the following:

  • Type and description of work and associated hazards
  • Time of start and finish
  • Specific location of the work or access to hazardous areas and limits
  • Materials and equipment used and in safe working conditions
  • Contractors or workers’ identity and competence
  • Information about hazardous and harmful substances in the workplace
  • Need for protection (PPE, ventilation, fire, exposure and radiation protection)
  • Emergency procedures and rescue of personnel
  • Any other special instruction

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