A formal written system which is used to control certain types of work that are potentially hazardous in nature is defined as permit-to-work system. The permit-to-work system delivers a disciplined and systematic approach to assess the risks involved in a job and specifies all the precautions to be taken to perform tasks safely.
In this era of technological advancement, industries are on constant lookout for advance systems which can improve and ensure all the tasks are conducted safely. A vast majority of Industries still follow a paper based Permit to Work System, this may not be by choice but may be due to the unavailability of viable solutions.
There are many software companies in the market which offer a system based solution with a predefined structure, based on a generic workflow. However, the general observation is that such solutions are not open for accommodating client’s requirements. Instead, the client has to accommodate to the available systems.
This can further lead to many different and unforeseen
The Permit to Work System:
- Mentions work to be done and equipment to be used
- Specifies the precautions to be taken when performing tasks
- Gives consent for work to start
- Provides a check to ensure all the safety considerations have been fulfilled – like certificates, validity of permits and compliance to the procedures and policies.
- Provides a checking mechanism that all work has been completed up to satisfaction.
- It is difficult to match existing paper based system with an electronic PTW system.
- It is possible that hierarchy in existing paper-based system is different from Electronic PTW system.
- Existing work-flow of the PTW system may not be in line with the electronic PTW system.
- This may lead an organization to change their Permit to work system that may have to match the electronic system, thereby, increasing the challenges.
- This might require re-training of all the employees, thereby, resulting in more time being consumed in implementing the systems and hence loss in production.
- Organizations might want to customize the solution to match with their existing hierarchies and work-flows. However, this might require the time of the organization’s permit stakeholders in developing the system which might be an added concern.
- On the flip side, service providers might need to understand the permit system thoroughly to come up with viable solutions. This might again prove to be counter-productive because of lack of domain knowledge and experience.
Here are some of the things that organizations need to remember while looking for service providers who can automate their permit to work systems;
- Look for a service provider who can customize the software to suit the existing hierarchies and work-flows of your organization. Such an implementation ensures that the software is used by stakeholders with very little training.
- Ensure that the service provider will provide adequate ‘hand-holding’ for a successful implementation and utilization program
- Look to evaluate a service provider for their domain knowledge. If they do not understand permit systems, chances are that EHS teams would have to construct the intelligence behind the software.
- Look for software that has a “web-based” architecture for sustainability and scalability.
- With the current trends, ensure that the software is scalable enough to be extended to hand-held / smart phone devices using mobile apps.
- Utmost precautions must be taken for protecting critical information and the same must be communicated to your service provider as well.
- In case of seeking a consortium (separate consultant + software developer) for automating the system (which can prove to be a costly affair), tripartite coordination has to be meticulously planned for speedy deployment of software.
ASK-EHS Engineering & Consultants provides various EHS management software within the spectrum of EHS. Our team of EHS knowledge leaders and technocrats develops software that have produced measurable and highly productive results. The views expressed above are the personal views of the author and are not intended to malign or defame any system.
For more information on ASK-EHS’ PTW software visit ASK-EHS’ e-PTW Software.