Permit to Work

A ‘permit to work’ is a safety system used to control high risk activities such as excavations or working at height.

Permits authorise certain members of the workforce to carry out high risk work at a specific time and helps to ensure health and safety procedures are correctly followed.

This is particularly important on large sites with many trades working in close proximity at the same time; as it helps to identify high risk areas, in order to minimise potential risks and/ or accidents.

Below are examples of how sites have implemented a permit to work system:

  • To assist Site Managers/Supervisors/Foreman to ensure that an operative had the correct ‘permit to work’ for the task being undertaken, many sites have introduced a different coloured armband for each activity requiring a permit, e.g. a red armband = hot works, green = ladder works, etc.;
  • The armband also had a plastic holder in which the permit to work was displayed.

Others have implemented:

  • A ‘Permit to Work’ control board, with a copy of the permit and the operative’s CSCS card retained and displayed until the permitted work was completed;
  • Sites have installed turnstiles that could recognise and reject entry if the CSCS card had expired

Footer Reference

Kier Construction, Monitor's site report, London, May 2014 CCS Site Registration Examples of Good Practice Brochure, 2014


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