Important Information: The Policies and Guidance on the website have been amended for accessibility reasons. Hard copies of the originals can be requested from hse@lboro.ac.uk or 01509 222181. When making decisions or attempting works based on these documents please consult the originals.

Introduction

Loughborough University recognises it has a statutory duty, to ensure that systems of work are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

This document outlines the permit to work process in place at Loughborough.

A Permit to Work (PTW) system forms an essential part of the risk management process and is an effective means of controlling specified work activities.

The purpose of the PTW is to provide a system to identify and record the various hazards, the actions necessary, allocation of responsibilities and to ensure all key stakeholders are informed of the work activity.

Scope

This policy and associated guidance provide a framework for Schools and Services to fulfil their statutory duties. This document covers all works and activities that are undertaken within Loughborough University owned and occupied areas, where Loughborough University are the Landlord/Duty holders.

This policy does not apply to construction projects where a Principal Contractor has been given exclusive possession of an internal or external space. However, this policy will apply in situations where the Principal Contractor takes over an internal or external space which directly interfaces and impacts on other building users.

Key Legislative Requirements

The university has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure that systems of work are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health. The implemented permit to work system process fulfils this requirement by ensuring that all high-risk activities are suitably controlled.

Duty Holders

All works to buildings, services and infrastructure must be undertaken in accordance with the requirements and policies of the University Finance department and Facilities Management.

Director of Estates and Facilities Management

The Director of Estates shall appoint in writing, Duty Authorised Persons (DAP). A list of the DAP disciplines can be found on the University Health & Safety Service website.

Duty Authorised Person (DAP)

The DAP takes managerial responsibility for the implementation of the permit to work policy and associated procedures for a specific area of health and safety legislation. Training requirements are defined in the accompanying PTW guidance document.

The Duty Authorised person shall:

  • Appoint Authorised Persons (AP) to act as permit issuers in the discipline they manage.
  • Act as a permit issuer where suitably qualified.

A comprehensive list of the DAP roles responsibilities is given in the DAP roles and responsibilities guidance document.

Permit Issuers - Authorised Persons (AP)

Permit Issuers shall:

  • Review permit requests
  • Issue permits in their appointed discipline.
  • Be available for the duration of work for the permits they issue.
  • Close out permits they have issued.

Note: In the event that the AP is unable to be present for the duration of the activity requiring a permit, the AP should close the permit, temporarily stop the work and liaise with the DAP to facilitate the remaining work activity.

Isolating Authority

The Isolating Authority shall:

  • Verify isolations are effective and work can safely commence.

University Health and Safety Service

The University Health and Safety Service shall:

  • Monitor compliance with this policy.
  • Review the policy and associated guidance.
  • Provide suitable information, training, and advice on request.

Deans of Schools/Head of Professional Services

Deans of Schools/ Heads of Professional Services shall:

  • Ensure that suitable risk assessments and method statements are in place for work activities.
  • Ensure that adequate time and resources are made available to control and manage working arrangements.

Safety Officers

Safety Officers shall:

  • Ensure that risk assessments and method statements are reviewed for work activities and provide advice on the requirements for a permit.
  • Ensure that any required risk reducing measures are implemented to reduce the risk so far as reasonably practicable, including the use of the permit to work process.
  • Ensure that that members of staff and students are suitably trained and experienced before undertaking any task or activity involved with the application of a permit to work.
  • Report incidents and near misses to the University Health and Safety Service using the Assure incident reporting system.

Area Owner

The Area Owner is the person in control of the location where work is to be carried out e.g., building. / technical manager.

Area Owners shall:

  • Facilitate handover of the work area.

Line Managers

Staff who are responsible for managing the activities carried out by staff, students or volunteers are considered supervisors. As such they have a duty to ensure the health and safety of the staff/students they supervise.

Line Managers will ensure:

  • Personnel they manage are competent to complete the task and have been provided with suitable information and training, to manage the risks posed by the activity.
  • People working with them understand the operation of (and the consequences of non-compliance with) the permit-to-work systems applicable to the areas in which they are responsible for work.

Operators

University Staff

University Staff and Students shall ensure:

  • They comply with this policy.
  • They do not start work on any job requiring a permit until one has been authorised and issued.
  • They should be able to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of any permit they are working under.
  • If in any doubt, or if any circumstances or conditions change, they stop work, make the work area safe and get advice immediately.

Contractors

All contractors employed by the University to work on fixed assets, gain access to certain restricted areas or work on the building fabric, must comply with this policy.

Key Permit to Work Appointments

A summary of the key appointments and their roles can be seen in the table below.

TitleRole
Duty Authorised Person Appointed discipline specialist responsible for appointing Permit issuers (Authorised Person)
Operator Responsible for fulfilling the placed work order
Permit Requestor Person requesting the PTW for the job to be done
Permit Issuer (Authorised Person) Discipline specialist responsible for authorising & issuing PTW & access permits
Permit Acceptor Person accepting the permit on behalf of the permit user(s) and carries out the work activity under the permit
Area Owner Person in control of the location where work is to be carried out
Isolating Authority Person responsible for verifying isolations are effective

General Requirements

Loughborough University currently uses two types of document, with different functions, these are:

  • A permission to access request form - This document permits access specified restricted areas.
  • A permit to work – This document permits certain work activities but limits the activity and location of work e.g., the controlled removal of a specific valve within a specified time.

The diagram below shows examples of the different activities which require a Permit to Work and a Permission to Access form.

Permission to Access Form (PTA)

Permission to Access request forms is used to enable contractors to access restricted. Permission to Access requests is managed locally and can be provided by nominated Permit Issuers.

For planned activities at least 48 hours’ notice must be given for all Permission to access requests. Emergency requests will be assessed and agreed on an individual basis.

Any permission provided for an access request will be rescinded if the task is subsequently identified as needing a permit to work. The requester will be required to request a permit to work via the appropriate channel, with the appropriate timescales applied.

Permit to Work

Loughborough University operates a permit to work system for tasks which involve higher risk activities such as:

  • Controlled Area (Confined Spaces & Voids, Electrical Sub-Stations) PTW
  • Electrical Low Voltage PTW
  • Electrical High Voltage PTW
  • Pressure Systems PTW
  • Excavations Permit to Dig PTW
  • Hot Works PTW

Permit Requests

Permit Request

All work must be properly planned with sufficient time allocated to prepare for the task, requests for all permit types must be made by the Permit Requestor, at least 5 working days prior to the activity starting. Emergency unplanned activities requiring a permit will be assessed and supported on an individual basis.

The process for permit request and issue procedure for planned activities is shown in the process flow in Appendix A.

Note: The asbestos register must be checked by the Permit Requestor prior to the submission of RAMS, and if required a management, refurbishment or demolition asbestos survey must be performed and actioned, as necessary. Relevant asbestos information must be included as part of the permit request application.

Permit Request Review

Risk assessments and method statements prepared by the operator for all Permit to Work Requests must be checked and accepted by the Permit Requestor to ensure that they are suitable and sufficient for the task by the University employee instructing the contractor prior to submission to the Permit Authoriser.

Operators are to be responsible for preparing RAMS which cover all activity and include the subcontractor RAMS, to confirm their acceptance. RAMS submitted solely by a third party will not be accepted.

Permit Request Approval

Once the permit details and RAMS, asbestos register and the safe working methods have been agreed, the permit requester will formally request the permit. The appropriate duty authorised person can commence and complete the permit approval process as the permit issuer.

Permit Issue

The appropriate nominated authorised person will be responsible for completing the permit approval process as the permit issuer. Operators will be issued with a system notification to confirm permit approval by the relevant Permit Requestor 24 hours prior to the works for planned activities. Emergency arrangements will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Once issued all individuals involved in undertaking the task must adhere to the conditions within the permit and must not deviate from the method statement.

If the work activity requires the permit to be amended, the current work must be safely terminated, and the permit closed. Risk assessments and method statements for the revised task should be agreed prior to a new permit being issued.

Permit Acceptance

Before work can commence, the permit must be formally accepted by the permit acceptor.

The permit acceptor agrees to the conditions within the permit itself and any associated documentation/arrangements. The operator is then able to commence with the work under the permit.

A permit is not valid until the contractor acceptance has been completed.

Permit Hand back/Closing

Once the work/activity is complete or when the permit expires (whichever is first), the permit must be handed back to the permit issuer. Handing back provides an opportunity for the work/activity to be reviewed by the Permit requestor, Permit Issuer (Authorised Person) and the Permit Acceptor. It also provides confirmation that the work/activity has been completed and that site has been handed back in a safe condition. Any issues with the work area that need to be addressed should be recorded by this process.

Failure of the permit acceptor to return permits to the permit issuer will result in corrective action being taken, including the suspension from works for individuals or companies with multiple non-returns.

To ensure the area has been handed back in a safe condition a visual check of the work area must be completed by permit requestor and permit issuer. The permit then must be formally closed by the permit issuer.

Competency for Permit Issuers and Authorisers

The competency requirements for the DAP and AP roles are detailed in the competency matrix in the Permit to Work guidance document.

Training requirements will be agreed by the DAP and the APs line manager.

Individual training courses will be subject to a recognised refresher period, however, if refresher training is not attended then the APs appointment will be revoked and they will not be able to raise permits for their subject area, until the required training has taken place.

Retention of Records

The original signed copy (working copy) of the PTW should be issued to the PR and a copy retained by FM for the duration of the task. Upon completion of the task the original should be returned to the permit issuer who should complete and close the PTW.

The original should be filed together with any associated unique supporting documentation and retained for a minimum of three years.

Monitoring

The permit-to-work system will be monitored by the Health and Safety Service in accordance with the audit plan.

The total number of permits raised by category will be reported in the FM monthly report.

Audit

The Permit to Work system is to be audited by the health and safety service in accordance with the program plan published on the University Health & Safety service website.

Permits and access request forms and the associated risk and method statements should be retained by the issuing authority for at least 30 days after completion, and then archived for a period of 3 years.