Safe Systems: Permit to Work - What the Law Says

Ref: MoreSS


The Health and safety at Work etc. Act requires all employers to provide systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.
Employers are required to develop and maintain a safe system of work which is a carefully defined method of working which takes into account foreseeable hazards and dangers to the health and safety of persons placed at risk by exposure to, or by the nature of, the task and seeks to eliminate or minimize them. Safe systems of work must also be monitored to ensure they are effective.
Tasks which require a safe system of work may include operations which are simple, routine, such as cleaning and maintenance, or complex, such as breakdowns and emergencies. They can also include changes to work layouts and methods, lone workers and contractors working on your premises.
One particular type of safe system of work is a 'permit to work' which is a specialized safe system of work under which certain categories of high risk work, for example, maintenance of a chemical plant, roof work or demolition work, may only be undertaken with the specific permission of an authorised manager.
Those carrying out or supervising the work must be provided with information contained on the safe system of work and, where necessary, receive training as to how the system will operate.