Under health and safety legislation, what is a permit to work?

Q) Under health and safety legislation, what is a permit to work?

A) Imagine how different the James Bond films would have been had Her Majesty refused 007 a licence to kill. The final credits of Dr No would have rolled with Britain’s finest agent jailed for homicide, the proceeding instalments tracking Bond’s adventures in the big house.

Under health and safety legislation, a permit to work is just as important. A permit to work – or PTW – is a document issued by an authorised person to permit work to be carried out safely in a defined area under specified conditions.

Licensed to work safely

Let’s say you’ve been given a mission to carry out work identified as having a high risk. If this is the case, congratulations agent. Remember though that strict safety controls are required.

The work must be undertaken against previously agreed safety procedures – a permit to work system. A permit to work:

  • Authorises certain people to carry out specific work within a specified time frame
  • Sets out the precautions required to complete the work safely
  • Describes what work will be done
  • Describes how it will be done

So if the job carries risks, always remember your permit to work. After all James, your country – and company – are counting on you.

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