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Do your employees work in confined spaces? Make sure you have a Permit to Work

by , 21 November 2013
If your employees work in confined spaces the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to have a Permit to Work. In addition, you must ensure the Permit to Work has the following information...

A Permit to Work gives authorisation for specific work, time required and location.

This means workers entering the confined space must have permission to do so and to carry out the work intended.

Both you and your workers must understand and sign the contents of the permit before entering the confined space.

The Health & Safety Advisor explains that 'the designated on-duty supervisor or foreman who's made sure by testing that the workplace is safe usually gives the Permit to Work. The permit must be kept or displayed at the point of entry.'

A Permit to Work must have this information:

  • The recognition of all hazards identified;
  • The isolation procedures that'll be applied to ensure a safe environment before entry and for the duration of the work;
  • The methods to be used to maintain the environment during the work; and
  • The safe work procedures and practices to complete the task.

Keep in mind that if an incident affects the safety of a worker, the permit must be returned to the issuer and a revised permit must be issued before he can continue.

When issuing a permit, the issuer must make sure that:

  • The permit is issued before the worker starts working in the confined space;
  • All safety precautions are in place before the job starts;
  • The permit is thoroughly read and understood by the receiver and the work crew;
  • All participants at the job site are competent and their entry and exit is recorded;
  • The receiver signs and prints his name agreeing to abide by the conditions on the permit; and
  • The permit is returned after the job is completed.

If your employees work in confined spaces make sure you have a Permit to Work. To full comply with the OHSA, make sure the permit has the above mentioned information.

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