While work permit system is an important and effective tool to ensure safety at workplace, it has certain limitations associated with it which the safety officers find difficult to get away with. Health and safety officers are well aware that work permit system is a kind of risk assessment for any kind of job that has hazards associated with it and the prevention and protection measures taken to combat the risk. Here are some benefits and limitations of work permit system that the safety officers face at the site: -
1) Risk is identified
2) Job is authorised and informed
3) It is ensured that only trained people are at the job
4) Work area is specified
5) Job duration is specified
6) People doing the job are identified
7) Recorded with the safety department and acts as a help during incident investigation
8) Ensured that people get the required protection
9) Ensured that area is free of hazards
10) Ensured that the work is closed safely
1) When the safety officer starts getting too many copies to sign on daily basis, proper hazard identification and minimization gets ignored sometimes. To avoid this situation formation of task force is often suggested.
2) Taskforce is often from the production departments. It is not always necessary that they follow the complete safety procedures in the absence of the safety officer as they have their production targets as well.
3) In the absence of the safety officer or safety representative, it becomes difficult to start the job. Thus the resultant delay in job is blamed upon the safety officer and the work permit system.
4) If the person that has been appointed for signing the work permits is not trained properly it may happen that the hazards remain unidentified.
5) If the proper equipment is not available there is a delay in job. A safety officer has to ensure that the contractor person and the factory people are well aware of the safety requirements so that safety doesn’t clash with company efficiency.
6) Keeping a record is not easy. Work permits that are not reviewed may lead to erroneous information. For example work permit shows the workplace as behind warehouse while the work was being carried out at some other place, then it may be a problem.