For site managers and supervisors working in high-risk environments such as construction and manufacturing, workplace safety is one of the most critical aspects of their jobs.
While on-site health and safety requirements have increased exponentially over the past few years, the challenge in managing contractors (and sub-contractors) is continuously growing. This is why it is important to have a Permit to Work (PTW) system available to ensure everyone on-site is safe and knows what they should be doing and where.
PTW systems play an essential role in ensuring the safe execution of hazardous work activities at operational facilities, thus reducing risk and the chances of accidents occurring, which in turn keeps frontline workers both safe and efficient.
Disadvantages of Traditional Permit to Work Systems
Traditional PTW systems are paper/spreadsheet -based and have some significant drawbacks that limit its overall efficiency. This includes:
- Loss of Productivity: The process requires many hours of filling forms, writing tags and transporting papers from one location to another. This process is time-consuming and reduces productivity.
- Accessibility: Site verification is usually very difficult and sometimes impossible. Another often overlooked issue is lousy handwriting which limits increases back and forth.
- Lack of Security: Due to the nature of traditional PTW systems, loss and damage of paper, traceability and safety risks due to different work activities are a usual occurrence.
Despite these disadvantages, it is unfortunate that many companies still use these traditional systems to handle their PTWs.
Benefits of Switching to Electronic Permit to Work Systems
Even though the use paper-based PTW system to handle hazardous work activities used to be the standard procedure years ago, it has become outdated and as a result, more likely to fail in today’s world of technological advancements, global competition, tight deadlines and megaprojects.
Switching to an Electronic Permit to Work System (ePTW) is a great way to overcome the problems caused by the traditional paper-based system. Some key benefits of making this switch are:
- They are simple to use and easily customizable to any business or industry
- They are able to incorporate all permit types, depending on usage
- Permits can easily be requested by contractors and employees through the push of a button
- Managers can quickly identify and rectify conflicting work activities
- It provides a paper trail for all permits that have been requested, approved or rejected
- Users can easily be guided through the system automatically from start to finish
- Expired staff training, Risk and Method Statements, and overdue permits to work are automatically flagged
- An ePTW system takes away the need for re-writing duplicate permits whenever a new one needs to be re-issued or extended
The ROI of using software to manage your entire Permit to Work systems cannot be overstated. The dollar value assigned to making this switch will undoubtedly vary from company to company and from industry to industry.
The best way to see how this can work for your company is to take it for a spin by taking advantage of our risk-free, no-strings-attached, free trial.