Both the NHS HTM and MOD JSP 375 Volume 3 Safe Systems of Work required the AE’s to assess the competency of the AP’s and the AP’s in turn to assess the competency of Skilled Persons/Competent Persons. Under these processes, only AE’s, AP’s and Skilled Person/Competent Persons who had been assessed and formally appointed to a System could issue Permits to Work. The manual control of this process and the subsequent auditing was costly. Our challenge was to reduce the cost of the application of the NHS HTM and MOD JSP 375 Safe Systems of Work by removing the collation of information on Competency and ensuring only appointed personnel could issue Permits to Work.
What we did
We developed our own electronic “E-Permit” system that complied with Health and Safety Guidance 250 and that was fully auditable by the HSE or other authorised organisation, should an incident occur. The system restricted AE’s, AP’s and Skilled Persons / Competent Persons to authorise and raise Permits to Works only for those locations, facilities and Systems that they had been assessed as competent to deal with.
The system also ensured that AP’s could not issue Permits to Work without having gone through the process of producing a Task Specific Risk Assessment and Task Specific Method Statement and Emergency Rescue Plan. When Risk Assessments, Method Statements, Emergency Rescue Plans and Permits to Work were issued, each was uniquely numbered and cross referenced. Once the documents were issued, there had to be no facility to change, replace or cancel the documentation.
The mobile system could be accessed by PC, Tablet and IPhone / Android phone and Permits produced by printing through a mobile battery - powered air printer.
As well as improving safety and better protecting the Company and individuals from a failure in procedures which could result in death or serious injury, the NHS and Customers using MOD derived Safe Systems of Work have benefited by a 40% cost reduction in their operation. The Electronic Permit System is available to contractors and commercial customers and has been in daily use for 6 years on over 40 sites with high permit usage. It has now become a standard item of software on all Turner FM contracts.