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Who can issue a safe work permit? Do you know when it expires?

by , 11 March 2015
In accordance with the current safety law, there are only two people that can issue safe work permits. It is important for your company's health and safety policy to know and apply this correctly.

Here's what you need to know to do that.

Safe work permits can be issued by the following people

A safe work permit can be issued by the department manager or supervisor of the listed work.

But this much be a certified person who has a qualification in the type of work that'll be done.
To do this, the department manager or supervisor forthe work that will be done, must approve the work. He must sign the safe work permit to allow the work to be done.

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What's a qualified person?

A suitably qualified person is a person who has a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited qualification (or equivalent) as per OHSA Regulations. This can be an engineer, journeyman or electrician. (NOTE: I won't forget the links).

But do you know how long must you keep the work permit for? And the risks of not doing so?

 Generally, your safe work permit is valid for one day.

This is very important because there  can be changes in the hazards and risks that were initially identified.

That means that you have to complete a new safe work permit for the next day to ensure there are no changes and that you're keeping your employees safe.

So while safe work permits can be issued for the duration of a project, e.g. a construction project,  many accidents happen because hazards and risks and other conditions change during the project

Use this tip: Issue a safe work permit each day rather than for an extended period to avoid accidental loss!

Note that when you have finished your risk assessment, you would've identified hazardous work that may not be what the Minister has identified as "listed work".

Moreover, you can actually make it your company policy to add other work to your safe work permit programme.

Make sure you stay informed and you know what other hazardous work you should add to
your safe work permit system for your employees!

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