WHAT IS A HOT WORK PERMIT?
A permit-to-work system is a formal written system and is an extension of the safe system of work. A hot work permit is used to prevent fire or explosion and will specifically detail the work to be carried out, how and when it is to be done and the precautions to be taken.
The use of a permit system does not, by itself, make the job safe. It supports the safe system, providing a ready means of recording findings and authorisations required to undertake hot work.
The hot work permit should check the following items (where appropriate):
Preparation of work area, including isolation, emptying, cleaning, gas-freeing, inerting, etc.
Use of protective curtains.
All 'hot works' equipment should be regularly maintained and inspected.
Ensure a competent person visits the area after the hot works has finished to ensure that no smouldering embers or hot surfaces remain.
Provision of suitable fire extinguishers.
Ensure that sprinklers (if installed) are isolated and reactivated after the works.
On satisfactory completion of the job, the authorising person should cancel the permit.
RE-ISSUE OF THE PERMIT
If the work has not been completed before the permit expires, a re-issue of the permit is required. The responsible person must visit the location and ensure that conditions have not substantially altered since the certificate was initially issued. If the conditions have altered the situation must be reassessed and, as necessary, further controls should be specified.
END OF OPERATIONS
On completion of hot work, the permit must be signed-off and returned to the permit issuer, stating that the work area is safe for normal operations and that all workers are clear from the work area. The process operator should check the essential services and if agreed, the permit should be cancelled.
OPERATION REVIEW AND REVISION
Following each operation, the procedures will be reviewed and revised, as necessary. Periodically, persons in charge should review the permit-to-work system to ensure that permits are being correctly completed, and that the required controls are being adopted.